The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is upon us! For the next couple of weeks comedians from Australia and the rest of the globe are here to tickle Melbourne’s funny bone.
To be honest, every time I am about to see a comedian that I haven’t encountered previously, I am filled with an uncomfortable anxiety. What if he/she is not funny/makes cheap jokes/is nervous/not mature enough… all of which result in awkward forced laughs, equivalent to a bad blind date. Well in the case of Jake Johannsen I was able to put those fears to rest the moment he entered the stage.
Jake is a bit of veteran of U.S. comedy as it turns out – a classic stand-up comedian who knows his audience and delivers a joke with confidence and flair. No props, no fuzz, just excellent observational skills and that rare talent to see humour in the mundane. He is a seasoned comedian who’s been around a while now and still knows how to entertain a crowd. In that spirit his show was themed around the process of growing old. Not that Johannsen is an old man – far from it – but he’s not in his 30’s or 40’s either, and has been around to experience marriage, fatherhood and the rise of the internet and social networking.
He hilariously describes his puzzlement in staying up to date with Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter whilst he is still trying to explain the concept of a podcast to his own parents. In the same vein he laments his fatigue at clever (or not so clever) American marketing strategies that try to sell him baths with doors (for the elderly) or hope to sway him into re-mortgaging his home. He also dabbles with politics, has an opinion on Trump, and questions the need for the U.S.A. to go to Mars (because we’ve already made Earth so ‘perfect’). If this sounds cynical, don’t be alarmed. The whole piece is delivered in a pleasant and up-beat manner. Johannsen is relatable and delivers a couple of very fitting and subtle punches.
If you are after guaranteed laughs in a relaxed environment this show is for you. Go see the ‘Jake Johanssen is Talking Show’ and allow yourself to ponder the passing of time and the purpose of low calorie dog food.
Claudia B. is a German/Kiwi graphic designer and illustrator who has been living and working in Melbourne for the last four years. She enjoys a good glass of whiskey and the occasional pole dancing class.
‘Jake Johannsen is Talking Show‘ takes place from 24 March – 17 April at the Greek Centre, Parthenon. The venue is accessible.
Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows.