fringe: josh thomas's surprise

Thursday, February 18, 2010

josh thomas - surpriseOkay, so I'm the first to admit that I haven't seen very many live comedy shows... in fact, if we're talking actual real live stand-up comedy... then I've seen exactly two shows... Adam Richard last March and Josh Thomas tonight...

And Adam Richard is my yardstick for funny... I laughed my ass off at the Adam Richard show. I think Adam Richard is usually hilarious!

Josh Thomas is no Adam Richard.

Which is not to say that he wasn't funny... he was, but he just wasn't Adam Richard funny.

I didn't think the crowd was going to be as bad as Friday night... but I was wrong... there wasn't a line outside at all, but I was surprised when I got to the venue... the line snaked from the Spiegeltent for what seemed like miles and miles... I definitely need to get there earlier in future.

But once everyone finally got into the tent, it didn't seem that full... which was kinda weird. I could have gotten a better seat than I ended up with I think... especially since I was sitting across the row from a bunch of women who I'm pretty sure had been drinking for far too long, as they kept talking... I wasn't that far away from shushing them, but they weren't being continually noisy, which was more annoying actually.

But, getting back to Josh Thomas and his actual show...

I'm also not sure that calling your show Surprise and not mentioning in any of the promo material that it's basically about you coming out and largely gay themed is that much of a good idea... I'm pretty sure that there were people there who had no idea what they were walking into other than "oh, its that funny little guy off the teevee, lets see him"! There were three very straight looking teenage boys a couple of rows in front of me who I'm pretty sure had no idea what had hit them.

I'll also be the first to admit that I had NO idea up until very, very recently that Josh Thomas was one of The Gays... Ma said she knew the first time she saw him... but me, no idea... I guess he fitted into that kinda asexual category... people who you just don't think about having a sex life... or a sexual orientation... or whatever. And I was somewhat surprised when I found out.

And, if I'm being completely honest (and apologies to Josh if he ever reads this)... I'm pretty sure that Josh Thomas isn't that comfortable with his own gayness just yet... or else he wasn't worked out how to work his gayness into a show without making cheap jokes at his own expense (okay, there were some funny lines, none of which I can remember right now, but there were also some bits that I would have almost called bordering on homophobic). Which brings me back to the "telling your audience beforehand" thing... if they know what to expect then you shouldn't have to "apologise" to anyone for who you are because they'll know coming into it.

I was thinking about it on the way home, and this is not the "Josh Thomas stand-up show about gayness" I really want to see. What I want to see is the routine he does in ten years time when he's an old hand at this gay thing and he's more sure of himself from that perspective.

The bits where he was talking about his relationship with his boyfriend Tom, or rather falling in love with Tom, were good (especially since I happened to see some YouTube clips of Tom earlier today, so I had more of an idea about him in general)... sweet and funny and whatnot... I liked those bits, I don't think the audience got some of the religious stuff though...

But enough with the Dr Phil analysis...

Completely changing the subject... I swear it was like 100°C in there with the people and I wasn't even standing under the big lights like he was, and I was wearing shorts... but he was still wearing a freakin cardigan... Well, I guess when you have a schtick...

I could have stuck around after the show, bought a poster, got him to sign said poster, taken a photo of him and me with my iPhone... okay, so I might have done the first two, but there's no way I'd do the last one. But it all seemed a little weird in a way, so I just left (and I'm trying not to think about it, or I might regret it).

All in all though, I'd give him a 70% on the Adam Richard scale...

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Tom Friday, February 19, 2010 12:06:00 am  

I just typed "Josh Thomas Surprise" into google to see if he was coming to Sydney and guess what... this post is number 8! So he might see it. ;)

I've seen him live before and found him very funny, but it's that slightly cringeworthy self depreciating sort of funny that makes jokes at his own expense which might explain him appearing to be unhappy with the gayness. I'd always suspected he was gay actually, but heard it a few months ago on his podcast. :D

Anonymous,  Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:53:00 pm  

Went to see this show last night at the opera house. I have to agree, it didn't reach my benchmark (Lano and Woodley's 'Good Bye' tour) either. Material was hit and miss, probably due to an audience that was largely shifting uncomfortably in their seats (prior warning would have helped avoid this).

In fact your write up was pretty much 100% spot on with my experience, bar two things: it wasn't 100°C, and I know better than to assume 'straight looking teenage boys' aren't gay (cause I'm one of them)


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