Alex Williamson’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival show this year – So Wrong, It’s Wrong – is pretty aptly summed up by the phrase ‘drugs, pedos and terrorists’ from the blurb on the MICF website. If those things aren’t to your liking, I would definitely not recommend Alex’s hour-long attempt to be the most inappropriate and edgy man in the entire world.
I was drawn into this performance by the promise of music, and instead I was treated to two songs – one an ode to his drug dealer, and the other about how video games won’t get you a girlfriend – bookending a show where Williamson relentlessly called people by the C word and bantered about Australian culture.
Williamson’s style is extremely high energy, which would be spectacular if his comedy was accessible to anyone other than a group of fifteen year old boys egging each other on to look at a naked woman on the internet. Not only does he objectify any female character he describes during his show, he makes light of rape as though that’s an appropriate thing to do, and makes no attempts to apologise for it.
At the very least he does admit later in the show that paedophilia is not okay.
Periods of the show are totally inaccessible to people who aren’t familiar with drug culture, not only from the perspective of actually doing hard drugs, but just because a deluge of slang makes it difficult to understand the stories.
One thing I did appreciate were Williamson’s numerous pop culture references. He drops video game titles and names of anime all over the place, which allows (some of) his content to feel accessible and fun, although I suppose those things could be just as baffling as drug references to a different crowd to myself.
While I have been fairly negative about this show, there are moments where I did find myself laughing along with the audience. It can be difficult to divorce the rest of Williamson’s show from his unapologetically offensive nonsense, but there are moments of humour in amongst the rest of his ‘jokes’.
If you like shock comedy, Williamson is the man for you. If you don’t, well, I would recommend pretty much any other MICF show. If you’d like the complete other side of the spectrum to Williamson, then check out Comedy Club for Kids, which touts itself as LOLs for kids aged six to 12. That’s probably as safe as you can get.