Stephen K. Amos’ Talk Show is a bit of a departure from a normal stand up performance. Instead of Amos being the star, he shared the limelight a little with a handpicked selection of his favourite performers and friends, in the style of a late night talk show. It’s not quite what I had expected, and seemed a little bit loose, but all in all I was entertained.
The night started with a bumbling pair of silent slapstick comedians – The Kagools – from the UK. They truly personify comedy that everyone can enjoy, unless you’re the guy who ends up with a handful of half-chewed Mars Bars, courtesy of one of the girls. A fair warning, their set does have a splash zone… which happens to be right down the centre hallway of the Supper Room. Stick to the sides if you don’t want to get damp.
After this, Amos entered and did his own little stand-up bit, with a few reused jokes from his headliner show – The Laughter Master – and some new audience harassment, which is where he always shines. He talked about Australia, his mid-life crisis, and threw in a little racist satire, all in his first few minutes onstage.
Amos’ first guest was Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss, who languished across the couch and talked about death, despair, and religion (or his lack thereof). I found the interview a little lacking in actual comedy for much of it, but it gave a great insight into Sloss’ comedic background and his performance style, and his show seems to be one to catch.
Carey Marx, the second guest, took the stage by himself before the evening returned to its talk show roots. I did appreciate his self-deprecating humour, but also his quick talking style, filled with a ridiculous and terrible number of puns. He also brought a carrot. Two carrots, to be exact.
Amos’ third guest, Venezuela’s Ivan Aristeguieta (though now less from Venezuela and more from Adelaide) spoke at length about his struggles with learning the English language, and the particular difficulties he had with Australianisms. Aristeguieta has a terribly charming accent, and great reality behind his stories, so his conversation and banter with Amos flowed freely and was a delight to experience.
The last performers, The Stephenson Experience, rounded out the show with a musical comedy finale. As a pair of identical twins, it’s difficult to decide which Stephenson to watch during their performances, but they use their lives and experiences together to great effect during their songs. Truly, I was almost in tears by the end, they were a perfect cap to the show.
While some of the talk show sections were more promotional and less comedic, Talk Show is an enjoyable evening out, especially if you’re on the lookout for more Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows to taste test.