Ben Kochan is moonlighting from his job as a tennis coach to perform at the MICF 2021. He comes across as a very sweet, slightly nerdy kinda guy whose shtick is a suitcase full of props and some rather good musical jingles.

Being silly is his strong suit, and his clean-living, almost naïve approach is quite endearing and comical – but accentuates the lack of polish and professionalism. And makes it feel jarring when he suddenly breaks out in uncharacteristic crudity.

To be fair, it’s only two years since Kochan performed (and sold out) his first solo show “Nice Boy Seeks Kind Audience” at the 2019 Sydney Comedy Festival, and 2020 was obviously a write-off, so he’s still building his style and routine.

He has a good eye for silly and awkward situations but his fluency and timing are occasionally a bit off. And while he’s genuinely funny at times and a good storyteller when he’s on a roll, Kochan undermines the mood every time he assesses how well the audience has reacted to each joke. It can raise a few laughs if done occasionally but to rely on it too much gets tiresome and unhelpful.

Apart from being repetitive, each time he stands back and comments he becomes an observer rather than staying immersed in the moment and bringing the audience with him.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what is affected nerves and lack of confidence for the routine and what is real.

At one point Kochan wins some big laughs and his almost jumps for joy: “I’m so lame,” he says. “I really shouldn’t get so excited.”

It’s a moment of clarity and possibly a regular line in his show – after all, he analyses every other bit of feedback he gets – but it’s at the heart of why he’s not getting more laughs.

Which is a shame because the guy’s got potential – he just needs to relax a little.

Event details

A Token Event
I’m Done It
Ben Kochan

Venue: Trades Hall | 54 Victoria St, Carlton VIC
Dates: 4 – 18 April 2021
Tickets: $20 – $25
Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au

 

 

Related Articles

Fangirls Fangirls
Ultimately, Fangirls really holds together because the entire cast is so awesome, with amazing vocal chops, a diversity of backgrounds and a willingness to try anything. Australian musical Fangirls...
Matador | Midsumma Festival 2021 Matador | Midsumma Festival 2021
A dance competition on steroids, Matador brings a mainstream top-of-the-pops version of a Spanish dance love story to Her Majesty's Theatre. The curtain raises to reveal a diverse cast of...

Most read Melbourne reviews

Master of the deadpan, harsh host of Hard Quiz, and heartless interrogator on Hard Chat, making...


It doesn’t matter how much you know or care about the legality of the Essendon Football Club...


If you’re looking for a show that’s completely different and unlike anything you’ve seen in...


For fans of the musical, the problems and changes to the book and plot of Chess are as familiar...


Swapping 16th Century Verona for 1930s Hollywood, and a lengthy title for the short and snappy...