Left - Moshe Kasher
The best thing about Headliners is that you can check out four different American comedy acts in one go. And different they certainly are. Other than their country of origin, there is nothing that remotely ties them together and the line-up feels a bit awkward. With such an eclectic grouping, most tastes will be catered for and it’s good bang for buck in terms of ticket price.
Opening act Tom Segura is the most provocative, lashing out at midgets, people with tattooed faces and bike riders. He’s also genuinely funny in his dead pan, slightly slacker way and takes the night’s prize for best overall jokes and most likely to offend.
It’s quite a jump to the sexy-geek female duo of Garfunkel & Oates strumming little guitars and singing about their confusion over hand jobs, smug pregnant woman and men that bring their friends on dates. While musically limited, the songs have some entertaining lyrics and it’s hard not to be won over by their goofy charm.
Having worked on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, Hannibal Buress’s background is in television writing, but his material doesn’t stand out as exceptionally clever. Like Segura, his style is more laid back than hyper and while he scores a few gold moments, most of his offering is underwhelming.
By the time the headlining headliner, Moshe Kasher makes it to stage, it is hard to muster the energy required to listen to the mile-a-minute rambling of this self-effacing, gay-acting, cardigan-wearing over-thinking straight guy. Kasher talks like he’s stuck on the fast-forward button and if you don’t listen carefully, everything out of his mouth is one big jumble. His solipsistic act gets old quickly and even though he has some funny, cerebral musings, it’s way too far into the evening to take them in.
Headliners is on throughout the festival with Marina Franklin, Matt Braunger and Sean Patton performing from 12 April.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival presents
Venues: The Hi-Fi | 125 Swanston St (opp Town Hall), Melbourne
Lower Town Hall, Melbourne Town Hall | Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
Dates: The Hi-Fi 31 March - 3 April : Melb Town Hall 5 - 24 April
Times: Tue-Sat 9.45pm, Sun 8.45pm
Duration: 75 minutes
Tickets: $31.50 – $25
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 | At the door