A couple of mates ticking off some bucket list items and making a room of people happy in the process – it’s a worthy concept. Mix this with a meaningful back story and talent and it’s no surprise they’ve pulled it off. The worst thing about this show is how long the name is, so let’s shorten it to “That Show” for this review.

That Show’s stars are Peter B and Coombesy – two guys who have become near inseparable because of a horrible situation. A couple of years ago, Coombesy was diagnosed with terminal cancer and Peter B decided his mission was to create a bucket list for Coombesy and tick as many things off as possible. It’s hard to imagine the things they’ve gone through, but Coombesy has met some impressive people and even flew over Antarctica. Now Coombesy is more than two years past what he calls his ‘use by date’ and its time Peter got to cross something off his bucket list.

A few years ago, Peter B and Coombesy were attending a Melbourne International Comedy Festival show at The Hi-Fi and glanced around at the posters. Peter B said it’d be great if they could do a show in a few years and Coombesy simply responded with: “I’ll be dead and you’re not funny”. Luckily for everyone, Coombesy was totally wrong – he’s still kicking and Peter B certainly has become funny since then (though I doubt it’s as recent as Coombesy claims).

The first That Show started with The Offbeetz, the band providing music for all of the shows. Steve Clark, Catherine Thompson, Amy Bandeira and Frankie Ross have built a fantastic chemistry together allowing for stunning harmonies and smooth choreography. Their rendition of Let Me Entertain You built their rapport with the audience instantly, only to be improved later with their witty additions.

Despite opening show jitters, Peter B is already delivering hilarious punch lines and highly relatable content. His conversational and well-researched style will improve as he gains more experience and confidence, but his connection with the audience is already special.

With impressive guest lists for each show, audiences can be reassured this is truly a variety show, complete with interview couch and a prize wheel sponsored by Darrell Lea. Ashley Fils-Aime, John Burgos, Gillian Cosgriff, Fernando Mira and Lehmo joined Peter B and Coombesy and the crowd of 200 or so at the first show.

Highlights included a snippet of Cosgriff’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival show To the Moon and Back, Ashley Fils-Aime’s observations of Australian culture and Coombesy meeting Fernando Mira – the man who introduced him to the world of flamenco dancing at last year’s Out From Under. This last moment was a gem: the men sat down and had a candid conversation, with Coombesy asking all the questions any audience member would, and finished with Mira teaching some impressive footwork.

It’s a slick production with lights, sound and set all tying together a free-flowing and comfortable variety show, created to entertain and make everyone there feel good. The 90-minute show passes quickly, with the shorter segments breaking down any need for intervals. Guests range across music, theatre, comedy and everywhere in between, broadening their potential audience.

That Show with Peter B & Coombesy is a comedy variety show full of heart. Coombesy himself says that laughter is the greatest medicine and that it has extended his life. Therefore, it’s actually unhealthy for you not to attend That Show.

Samuel Johnson, Stephen Mahy and Ginger and Tonic will be visiting, as well as Adam Hills for the final show, which is the only way you’ll see him at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

To see the full list of who will be visiting Peter B & Coombesy over the coming weeks, check their website: https://www.facebook.com/thatshowwithpeterbandcoombesy