It’s not like Wil Anderson was ever a shrinking violet but, at 43 and performing his 22nd MICF, he is more confident – and quite possibly funnier – than ever before.
While his gig as host of The Gruen Transfer boosted and broadened his audience, it also seems to have honed his ranting skills and sharpened his cynicism. There are few things in this world funnier than Wil in full rant and his choice of topics is growing every year.
In this post-truth world, it’s a joy to see him calling more on the journalism skills that were his daily trade before stand-up comedy became a viable career.
Armed with an arsenal of facts and his trademark disdain for idiocy, he takes aim at the endless parade of nonsense, bigotry, hypocrisy and stupidity that is too often presented as normal.
In his sights are wall-building presidents, non-vaxxers and those who would banish migrants from Aussie shores, but then he turns both barrels on his own frailties and human failings – what he describes as the lawyer in his brain who refuses to listen to the scientist.
His direct interaction with the audience is minimal – he calls out a couple of late-comers and gives them some grief – but he still manages to weave their stories into the narrative further down the track and his slick delivery gives the impression that the whole show is off-the-cuff, even when you know it’s highly rehearsed and has been performed around the world.
The biggest laughs come when he puffs up yet another specious piece of buffoonery, spotlights its ‘alternative facts’ and then spears it through with a stinging two-line rebuke.
Oh, and he loves his mum. Can this guy do no wrong?
But don’t get lulled into thinking you’re safe within a warm, cosy echo-chamber; just when you think it’s safe to trust everything Wil says, he warns you that he’s exaggerated a whole long list of ‘facts’ and you need to go home and do some research.
I’m sure Wil Anderson picks his nose and has smelly feet or something, but as far as his ability to script and perform a relevant, laugh-out-loud funny comedy routine that also give you pause for thought, he’s dangerously close to a perfect 10 right now.
A token event
Venue: Comedy Theatre | corner Lonsdale and Elizabeth Sts (plus Arts Centre Melbourne, St Kilda Road, on Saturdays April 15 & 22)
Dates: 31 March – 23 April 2017 (Auslan – Wednesday April 5)
Tickets: $34.90 – $54.90