Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Stephen K. Amos, April 2, 2013 ****1/2

Stephen K. Amos is The Spokesman
Athenaeum Theatre, March 28 until April 21, 2013
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Stars: ****1/2
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
 This review also published in Herald Sun online on Wed April 3. KH

"He handles the crowd like a zookeeper feeding the animals."

Stephen K. Amos walks an unusual line between intelligent wit and down-and-dirty, idiotic naughtiness, which means that he can balance all types of audience members in the palm of his hand.

Clad in jeans and black T-shirt, he shifts from refined tones and smart political references to bold, broad caricatures and gags about booze and sex, all of which have the crowd roaring.

His material is impeccably crafted, his comic timing skillful and, throughout the show, his delivery style remains conversational, amiable and relaxed as he strolls through topics both local and global.

Darwin is actually the missing link; Adelaide is littered with mullet and bogans; our weather is hellish; Julia Gillard thinks she is a Superhero; and Amos also learns a thing or two about Melton.

He rambles about his fear of water then quizzes audience members about their own phobias, eliciting strange responses including a fear of eggshells, or holes that are too close together. Really!

He questions us about our heroes and role models, and insists that he is not a good person to be a Spokesman because of his litany of flaws.

He handles the crowd like a zookeeper feeding the animals, tossing us gag after gag, tantalizing us with his jokes and inviting us to play with him, only to turn, ever so gently, on someone in the front row who looks too tame.

He ticks off, on his clipboard, the new jokes that work, teases the crowd, calls for requests for his old jokes from past routines.

The slick and accomplished Amos enjoys himself as he sails through 80 minutes, and the crowd gleefully sails with him and leaves happy.

By Kate Herbert

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