Comedian, CJ Delling’s flyer promises “a show you could bring your mum, first date or dentist to.” And you could. So Dr Sternson, what are you doing next Saturday?
Like many a budding comedian who’s serving their apprenticeship, you first meet CJ on the door, then see her arranging the musical intro (who doesn’t love a bit of 80s synth pop?) and then doing the voice over, “put your hands together for me and pretend you didn’t notice.” Already she’s likeable.
German born and Sydney dwelling, she doesn’t resort to relying heavily on her nationality’s reputation for comedic purposes. True, her delivery is calm and measured but there was obvious joy in it, as was the sharing of that joy with the audience. A lot of the material was anecdotal and drew on her experiences as a Lifeguard (and subsequent Patrol Captain), romantic tales and woes (flatulence included), swatting for the Australian Citizenship Test, the retail industry, the gender pay gap, literal translations and a very clever analogy (involving word play) to discuss consensual sex. All this and a little bit more in a 55-minute routine, in which she segued easily between topics with minimal flat spots.
CJ Delling exudes warmth from beginning to end. She seemed at ease on stage, honest and real. And built a nice rapport with the audience, asking us on several occasions, “where were you when I made this choice?”
She’s self-deprecating, welcoming (even to latecomers without a hint of irony) and charming. And I believe the crowd at The Bull and Bear Tavern liked her because they felt affection towards her.
Seeing Funny Bits felt a bit like catching up with a girlfriend over a drink.
It doesn’t have to be sensational, it can be downright silly at times but we still had larffs. I hope she keeps in touch. Maybe next year?
2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Venue: The Bull and Bear Tavern | 347 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Dates: 23 March – 3 April 2016
Tickets: $12 – $20