The Best Comedy Show on Earth is an ambitious title, and while it may be tongue in cheek, it is a pretty audacious name. The title probably oversells the idea a smidge, but it is a damn fine show and one of my favourites each year during the Comedy Festival.
Despite it being a Sunday night SKYCITY Theatre was packed and the audience pumped. Host Nick Rado was the perfect choice as compere – polished, genuinely funny, and relaxed. Perhaps a little too relaxed on one or two occasions as he lost the plot while plugging the product of the show’s principal sponsor. His jokes about family life and raising children were however hilarious.
Among the ensemble Ray O’Leary stood out. Having never seen him before, I was impressed with this deadpan and somewhat nerdy delivery of some very poignant and barbed comments. Also rating a mention is local gal Lana Walters who brilliantly parodied her hometown, her own body and the dating scene.
The other kiwis held up pretty well, Nic Sampson delivered a laugh out loud live ‘music video’ in which a boy band member gave Satan a blow job. James Mustapic, a young gay comedian shared some of his own life story in a sweet and amusing way.
Of the other two kiwis on stage, Tim Batt and Chris Parker were extremely confident, but their routines didn’t quite hit the mark. In Parker’s case this is surprising since I have seen him perform really well in other comedy shows.
Overseas guests included the always outrageous and filthy Rhys Nicholson who gave an intense monologue. On the odd occasion his jokes don’t quite work, he is still a pleasure to watch. Fellow Aussie Tessa Waters delivered a hit an miss set which mixed stand up with a virtual circus act.
The final performer was Phil Wang from the UK who very cleverly used his mixed heritage to make some disarming conclusions about racism.
There is one more edition of the show next Sunday with a different host and performers, but I’d suggest you give it a go.
13th of May 7pm
For more information click here