Lynch was raised in Michigan and is the son of a former nun and priest. This may explain a career built on teenage rebellion. With songs that include “Craig” (the little known brother of Jesus with a bad attitude) and “Special Ed” (the mentally disabled friend), anyone of religious ilk is going straight to hell if they laugh at a Lynch song. With the release of his much anticipated ‘3 Balloons’ CD, the work on Comedy Central’s new live entertainment division and tours around the U.S. and Europe, there is no doubt the talented and funny, yet crass Lynch has an endearing and loyal fan base. I was certainly one of them for a long time.
Sadly, my one sided love affair with Stephen Lynch is now over. I walked into the Palms at Crown nervous, the future of our relationship hanging by a guitar string. The show attracted a full house of Lynch’s most ardent fans. Arms were loaded with Crown Lager, faces pumped and ready for action. If it wasn’t for the warm and inviting setting of the Palms, I may have thought we were at a footy match. When a fan shouted that ‘Stephen Lynch is a %[email protected]# legend’ I knew that, at 34 years, I was getting too old for Lynch’s style of comedy.
It’s true: Lynch is edgy, politically incorrect and crosses “way” over the line more often than not. He isn’t afraid to test how far he can go and how far his audience is willing to follow him. His opening song “Waiting” is about “waiting for, my aids test to come back”. And then the Lynch joke “I can’t believe I started my Melbourne show with an aids song, but you all $$#$% laughed at it”! Lynch knows his audience – young males. If this sounds like you, you will probably love Lynch’s show. He is undoubtedly talented, even if a little expletive ridden.
Lynch’s show is well paced and is strung together with constant audience interaction. This was expertly mixed with some pre-recorded funny videos that highlight Lynch’s acting ability. His between-song banter and flowing anecdotes were amusing and could easily be seen as the best aspect of his performance. However, this is where it becomes obvious that Lynch’s comic timing is well rehearsed and clearly not as off the cuff as one may hope. For example, early in the show Lynch casually mentioned that the night before he dreamt he was Prince. The song “Purple Rain” was then ‘coincidentally’ covered later in the encore. For his target audience this seems to work but the lack of relevance to Australia and rehearsed jokes comes across as a little lazy and by the shows end, predictable.
Despite this the standing ovation Lynch received was not totally undeserved. His entire show can be summed up in one stand out phrase of the night - “tragedy and time equals comedy”. For this once avid Lynch fan the tragedy remains that time and age had unfortunately won out over comedy.
The Three Balloons Tour
Venue: The Palms at Crown
Date/Time: Friday August 6 at 8pm
Bookings: Ticketek on 132 849 | www.ticketek.com.au
Date/Time: Saturday August 7 at 7pm
Venue: Virgin Mobile Metro Theatre
624 George Street, Sydney
Bookings: www.metrotheatre.com.au | 02 9550 3666
*This performance is not suitable for children