When it comes to attending shows, my genre of choice is generally theatre. This means that I usually write about Theatre. But at the moment I’m going to a few comedy shows and stand up comedy at that. So when I sat down to write this post I had a moment – how do you actually write about comedy? I don’t particularly want to ruin the jokes – so I’m just going to tell you what I liked and if there are spoilers… Oops.
Last night I went to see British Comedian, Stephen K Amos at Q Theatre. Performing in New Zealand isn’t very unusual for Amos – he’s been a few times but I’d never heard of him until the Gala last Friday evening. It’s pretty tough to wow a crowd in 4 minutes, but Amos wowed me and so I was pretty stoked to be attending.
In typical visitor fashion Amos kicked off the show by referring to the fact that he was in Auckland. Or ‘our village of Auckland’ – I’m not sure if this was the impression that the council was going for with ‘Big Little City’ but with the little jab the show was on and we were all participating.
Over the course of the next hour Amos flew through a variety of topics – racism, current affairs, aging, fears, family, names, zorbing. It may sound a bit all over the place – indeed it was but Amos is a comedian who isn’t afraid of diverging from the plan and it works for him.
In fact some of my favourite moments happened when he was distracted by the audience – these distraction creating some very special moments.
For example, about ten minutes into the show a couple walked in late. The male of the pair was wearing a hat and Amos did not shy from making a point of it. ‘Where have you been?! Take off your hat!’ It could have ended there but Amos decided to keep pushing and luckily for us all this couple ended up provided some stellar responses. The first nail was that the males name was Roland. ‘Roland?!’ Amos roared? ‘What sort of name is Roland? I’ve never met anyone under 40 who’s name is Roland?!’ But it didn’t end there, Amos requested the name of the female – Bridget. ‘Bridget?!’ Amos responded, ‘Who gives anyone that sort of name?!’ And as if the Comedy Gods were on que Bridget’s Dad happened to be sitting right there – Zane. Cue threesome jokes. And the following stellar musical moments.
There was a time, when I looked into my father’s thigh.
Shine bright like a vagina.
Yes. That really happened. The audience based jokes didn’t stop there though. While Amos was telling a joke about a horse something beautiful happened. Amos realised that one of the audience members actually laughed like a horse. From this moment on whenever there was laughter there was also a whinny and soon Amos was nearly dying of his own laughter on stage.
I’m not sure about how other people feel about this but watching someone laugh is something that I really enjoy. Watching a comedian lose it laughing during his own show – priceless.
Amos’ show is called The Spokesman but Amos isn’t necessarily trying to be a spokesman – not in the usual sense at least. Amos is crass, he admits to smoking and drinking and dabbling in drugs, essentially he’s human. While its all supposed to be humor, it’s a subject matter that really speaks to me – why the hell is everyone supposed to be a role model? Why does everyone need to speak for a collective? And Amos points out just how ridiculous it really is because somehow, straight man Stephen K Amos became a spokesman for gay rights – I’ll let him explain that for himself.
While we’re at the very beginning of the festival I feel like Stephen K Amos is definitely a festival must. He’s a comedian who uses the world around him to supply his jokes making for a show that is dynamic to watch – its not all jokes about his love life or his kids (or lack thereof), about getting wasted or getting old. They’re jokes which everyone can take a part in and which if you’re lucky/ unlucky might end up being about you personally.
Stephen K Amos is on at Q Theatre until this Saturday. Get in quick to buy tickets here.
If you want a taster of Stephen K Amos in action then here he is at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala.