In an era of comedy where edgy, political and offensive have almost become the norm, it’s nice to know there’s still room for comedians that are just, well, plain funny.
Frank Woodley is one such comedian and he certainly knows his place as everyone’s favourite loveable misfit. Early in his Wednesday night set, he even asserts that he simply couldn’t do the kind of biting social commentary or controversial political satire that seem to be the calling cards of so many other comedians. Oh well, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Although Woodley jokes that he can’t help but arouse a pathetic response from others, there’s nothing pathetic about this fool. After splitting from comedy partner Colin Lane, Frank Woodley has enjoyed success as a solo performer, delving into more narrative-based comedy (2008’s Possessed) to straight slapstick and visual comedy (ABC’s Woodley.) Fool’s Gold finds the performer in a more of a variety-based show but erring on the side of straight stand-up. Endearing and never abrasive, Woodley bounces his way through a set of stories, skits, songs and even some magic with enough nervous energy to leave even himself visibly puffed out. With a doe-in-the-headlights stare, one can’t help but falls under Woodley’s spell whether he’s flailing around with a ribbon or performing a bit on accents you’ll certainly be repeating on the car-ride home.
The perfect manic foil to Colin Lane’s straight man, Woodley has perhaps had to rein himself in for these solo shows, which has produced mixed results. An improvisation specialist, it was surprising (and perhaps even a little disappointing) at how polished Woodley’s performance was with sharp callbacks, slick transitions and generally everything going to plan. Nonetheless, a master storyteller, a consummate guitarist (and not a bad dancer), an hour in the company of Frank Woodley is a most entertaining one. Seems there’s more gold in this fool yet.