Early on in his latest show, Wil Anderson mentions that he, and indeed many Australian comics, have found themselves with their backs against the wall of late. Why? Well, since September 14th last year, a certain budgie-smuggler-wearing Prime Minister and certified comedy goldmine found himself without a job. Think of the comedians, people! I imagine American comics went through a similar rough patch when George Bush shut up shop and became replaced with a more charming and articulate figure promising change.
Appropriately, Fire At Wil finds our man fired-up. Comparing our current Prime Minister to one of those N’Espresso coffee pods (same shit coffee but in slicker packaging), Wil sets the tone for the evening with a show that errs on the political rather than the personal. Armed with only a few bottles of water and evidently tackling a bit of a sore throat, Anderson takes his time to explore and unpack the broader issues of this sunburnt nation of ours. Immigration, gun control, Andrew Bolt, the booing of Adam Goodes and LGBTI rights all get an airing as Anderson picks apart arguments on both sides with a logic, coherence and everyman charm that rarely feels preachy. ‘This isn’t a TED Talk, I swear. I’m not running for office.’ Anderson quips at one point. And he’s right. At the centre of every well-crafted point is a well-crafted joke.
Although he spends much of his time in LA these days, Anderson seems at home in front of an Australian audience. ‘We’d celebrate Hitler’s birthday if we got a long weekend out of it’ Anderson jokes during a great bit about changing the date of Australia Day.
At 42, Ando has become a bit of an elder statesman of Australian comedy and, like a good bottle of plonk, he just keeps getting with age. Hell, maybe the guy should run for office. However, if he did, we’d miss out on another show, another Wil pun and another great hour of stand-up with one of Australia’s premier comedians. Fire away.