Stand-up comedian Jeff Green is a renowned performer throughout Australia and the UK, and his current touring show is a testament to his talent. His delivery is more understated and relaxed than some comedians. Where some comedians try to scream and force the joke down your throat, Green prefers to take a gentler approach, relying more on the intelligence of his remarks than an overbearing presence.
Using a fairly generic combination of satire and observational comedy, Jeff Green’s anecdotes largely lie around his own experiences as a father and husband. Green tells stories of parenting, such as the birth of his first child, and his subsequent horror of the experience (a disappointment echoed by the likeness he draws between what happens to the female sex during childbirth and his favourite pub burning down, saying that ‘its ruined’ and he ‘used to love going in there’). The content rounds off nicely with references to his relationship with his own father, and his childhood. Stories of how his father sought to improve his manliness by having him learn the tuba, and his experience on dates with German women, all go further towards the emphasis Green places on his masculinity.
While much of his humour borders on mildly misogynistic, with the male experience clearly dominating the show, it cannot be said that Green is not masterful in the art of wit. His clear provocations of his first born being the ‘favourite’ child, his enjoyment of a man’s night in where he leaves lights on for no particular reason, or even his ridicule of the latecomers with small bladders, are clearly double layered with quips and jibes at the female experience. It is intellectually cruel humour, that basically ‘is funny because it is true’. He regularly insults females, but his charm makes him easily forgivable.
Basically, Jeff Green’s work is not only critically satirical, but also funny. There is no denying that. Anyone can go along to his show and be entertained, regardless of how ardent your sense of feminism or masculinity is. The man is funny. Let’s face it, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, what is there to really laugh at.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival presents
Venue: Powerhouse Theatre
Dates: Tue 29 Apr - Sat 3 May 08
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