There was always going to be a lot of big hair and polyester, but it's easy to forget amid all his pouting and flirting just how wonderful Bob Downe's voice really is.
In his show for this year's Comedy Festival the man who made Mark Trevorrow famous performs 20 Golden Greats at the Spiegeltent – a perfect venue for his intimate banter and audience participation (watch out if you're drinking white wine in the front row – he gets thirsty). Bob says he loves the Spiegeltent: "If I get in the right position I can see myself reflected about twenty times."
Like some of his lounge lizard pant suits, squeezing 20 hits into the strict one-hour limit of a Comedy Fest show is a tight fit, but somehow he crams them in, plus loads of chat and nonsense in between.
While he's become synonymous with Sydney and its Mardi Gras, he's not shy to expose his Melbourne roots with a few deft jibes, and the audience laps it up. There's also an ongoing music trivia quiz with a CD of his own live recording from last year as prize, so swat up on your golden oldies for a chance to win. I won't spoil the show by revealing too many hits but, safe to say, if you like Abba and Barry Manilow singalongs, you'll have a blast.
Bob belts out the nostalgic tunes with his lusty lungs while cruising the room, shimmying his little tush (rather well, actually) and generally bringing colour and movement to our otherwise beige world. Yes, there are almost more costume changes than his beloved Kylie, from his "Pepsi Max trackie dacks" to gorgeous glamazon ensembles, with cravats in full flight. By the time he's joined on stage temporarily by Brazilian lounge music crooner Pastel Vespa, the pair is "dressed by Mattel".
Pastel almost steals the stage with her vocal rendition of the guitar solo from The Mamas and The Papas classic California Dreamin', but Bob soon shoos her off again and has the audience back, following his every word and eating out of his hand.
Mary Tobin and Melbourne International Comedy Festival present
Bob Downe 20 Golden Greats
Created by Mark Trevorrow
Venue: The Famous Spiegeltent at the Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Dates: 29 March - 22 April 2012
Times: Tue-Sat 7pm, Sun 6pm
Tickets: Concession/Group/Laugh Pack $25; Full $30 ($32 Fri & Sat)
Bookings: artscentremelbourne.com.au, 1300 182 183, Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 & at the door