Saturday, 4 April 1998

Adam Hills in Life is Good, April 4, 1998

Adam Hills in Life is Good
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Regent Room Melbourne Town Hall to April 26, 1998
Reviewed by Kate Herbert on or around April 3, 1998

"Life is Good" says Adelaide comedian, Adam Hills, "with some shit bits." This is the basis for his show "Life is Good". He spends then minutes having a gripe about things that peeve him then he moves on to joy, love, travel and fine spirited things.

The things that annoy him include The British press on Diana, the Australian press on Michael Hutchence and Bundaberg Rum. "It’s rum distilled in a car radiator."

But his big whinge is with The Innovation Catalogue that is new to me. It sells mail order junk that falls apart immediately or does nothing it proclaims in its ads. Wonder at the mechanical tie rack Aren't you exhausted after searching for a tie in the morning? Marvel at the message Recording Pen. "If you had the pen, wouldn't you write the message down?"

His piece de resistance is The Security Frog, which "ribbits" when a body moves on your front porch. Now that'd scare off burglars - and presumably frog-march 'em off the premises. (Sorry)

Hills has a charming and natural presence. He roams about the audience putting people on the spot and rapidly at ease as he asks personal questions. "Are you in love?" "Are you married?" "For how long?" His disarmingly warm manner compels people to tell him personal details.

He begins and ends the show with Advance Australia Fair with the words of cards because nobody knows them. His solution to our tedious anthem with the bizarre lyrics is revealed in his finale. He performs it as Jimmy Barnes to Working Class Man then as Olivia and Travolta to a medley of Grease numbers. It is hilarious.

His good cheer stems from singing peppy choruses of Obla Di Obla Da on the street in Edinburgh with an invariably cheerful Scottish dero.
Life must be good, he thought.

Hills' other material wanders around friends, loves and life.  His attempts to impress his new girlfriend by mock-stapling a post-it note to his head end up drawing blood. He comments on his inner-yob who has trouble coping with his newly outed gay mate. He questions the men about whether they have bought tampons for their partners.

An evening with Hills is a cheery night out with a lot of laughs and plenty of opportunity out of a pub atmosphere to appreciate his gentle humour.


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