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Comics' Corner - May 2019

Showcasing top end comics and local stand-up performers

By  Will Crawford

I was at a house-warming of some very hip 20-somethings, music industry types, when the perennial debate about the best-ever sitcom erupted.  

Predictably enough, some overly loud, middle-aged white lawyer started bandying around Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, as if the rest of the world hadn’t dropped those false icons years ago. If I’d wanted to watch a bunch of neurotic, self-absorbed white guys whine about how maladjusted everyone else is, I would just take  a video selfie…

Then the inevitable Seth MacFarlane acolyte started claiming that the Family Guy’s poorly-behaved yokel everyman was not actually a naughties rip off of Homer Simpson. 

The same persistent MacFarlane fan then also tried to deny The Orville wasn’t merely MacFarlane indulging a $15million William Shatner cross-dressing fantasy. 

A tall, older 65-year-old dude then started screaming, “don’t mention the war!” and claiming racism was fine if it was against Spanish waiters. Man, when will the baby boomer realise they don’t control the world anymore?

Then a smelly, pony-tailed 42-year-old gamer joined the circle and chimed in that Red Dwarf was the best ever science-fiction comedy and based completely on an acid trip he’d been on in 1984. 

At this point, a Generation X public relations professional started fiercely asserting that Sex and the City was eligible as a sitcom and denied it was actually vacuous regressive example of ‘men are the ultimate goal’ cool-girl Bridget Jones’s Diary feminist-lite. 

A 10-year-old girl with a wry grin and a dry ginger ale in her hand then stepped into the circle and reminded everyone that Mel Brooks' Get Smart was pound-for-pound the best secret-agent themed sitcom ever made. Hard to disagree. 

Then, with gin and tonic in hand, my godmother Edna – a 92-year-old speech therapist, naturopath and former dominatrix – appeared out of nowhere and quietly added that, while Cracknell and MacDonald’s Mother and Son was a wonderful dissection of Australian domestic life created from equal parts pathos, cynicism and absurdity, that for an ensemble sitcom piece, it was a dead heat between Raw Meat and Parks and Recreation

Characters, Edna explained, were the key to any good narrative driven comedy, and Ron Swanson, April and Andy provided some of the most vivid comic vignettes in living memory. 

Now I don’t know why my 92-year-old godmother was at my friend's party, but her words will ring in my ears long after the traces of hallucinogens leave my system...

However, special mentions go to Ronnie Barker’s Porridge, A League of Gentleman. If you like your comedy a little homicidal, Arrested Development, 30 Rock and Taxi…and remember house parties that are demographically diverse produce tastier spreads. 

Local Comedy in may

First Thursday Comedy Thu 2 May | 7.30-9.30pm | Happy Yess | $10

Canned Comedy Darwin Thu 9 May | 7-9.30pm | The Deck Bar | Canned food

Deadly Darwin Comedy Thu 23 May - Sat 25 May | 7.30-8.30pm | Brown's Mart Theatre | $20 | $15 Conc/Senior

LOL Thursdays Thu 30 May | 8.30-10pm | The Beachfront Hotel | Free

Laugh It Off  Fri 31 May - Sat 01 Jun | 7:30pm to 9:30pm | Brown's Mart Theatre | $20

Will Crawford is an up-and-crawling comic. He moonlights as a land rights lawyer and policy activist.

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