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Sydney’s impassive stand-up gets right to the heart of the matter and delivers as many jokes per minute as fellow leading artist Rhys Nicholson, targeting police, enemies of vegans and unisex toilets: ‘This is the future we have all fought for. “

Luke Heggie

Heggie occupies a unique place as an anthropological intellectual disguised as a tradie. The stern-faced cheer piles up line after line of scathing gold like a sarcastic symphony. “I spent a lot of time with my kids,” he mumbles before launching into some of the sharpest writings I’ve ever heard about modern Australia in its infuriating and hypocritical glory.

Heggie is constantly cheating on his crowd who have no choice but to roar in approval as we take his Banjo Patterson meet the wisdom of Chopper Read and finally find out who really wins the bar fights. A coup de grace. MIKEY CAHILL

Stuart Daulman: The Stuart Daulman Farewell Reunion Show ★★★
Trades hall, until April 18

Stuart Daulman

Stuart Daulman

Tastes of comedy vary. If your palate is limited to crustless white bread, you might as well take the next review now.

If you’re the type to try camembert and dark chocolate over open rye, however, give the above rating another star.

Stuart Daulman emerges as an 80s computer expert who hopped on too many cafes 7-11, a hyper-kinetic alien who goes from the best pun of this festival to bush poo material to bracing in an instant. Nessun Dorma delivery.

Usually his shows are high level and rich in effects, but this year he makes it clear what many comedians think: why plan? Does this festival even take place?

As a result, it’s a crazy hour of abstract thoughts, half-formed gags, and on-the-fly riffs that move like an all-terrain motorcycle tumbling down a ravine, forever threatening to crash dramatically. More than once you may ask: is it a bit or is it falling apart?

As her favorite Enya track replies: Who Can Say? JEAN BAILEY

Ivan Aristeguieta, Pinata
Athenaeum Theater, until April 18.

Keen Venezuelan ex-pat Ivan Aristeguieta is the kind of buddy you want if we go on lockdown again.

He denounces the cynicism of the Australian media which complained that the country was ranked 8th in the world for the COVID-19 response. “There are 194 other countries!

Aristiguieta admits that the loneliness of confinement and tyrannical rule – dictators and all – reminded him of his home country.

Actor Ivan Aristeguieta

Actor Ivan Aristeguieta

The 42-year-old smile machine takes us through the most difficult time of his life when depression turned into a tear-tattooed Chicano gangster. This led him to visit the Land of the Rising Sun where he said Hello Kitty and Goodbye Black Dog.

Pinata is a step towards a healthy, satisfying but uncertain territory that revolves around the relationship with his mother, two confusing and painful separations and the adorable love story of Aristeguieta of finally finding a partner who has opinions on flatulence.

He gestures wearily, pretending to be a member of the Australian public ordering Aristeguieta to “make jokes”. It’s not necessary. It’s a vibrant and energetic hour. MIKEY CAHILL

Does it make me now, Nina Oyama ★★★★
Comédie République, until April 16

Nina Oyama is the overcorrection we must have had. Male stand-ups have been making self-indulgence jokes ever since, well, forever, and now it’s Nina’s turn to go all out.

Oyama burst onto the scene in 2019 with his first solo show, Needs a lift, who marked his roles on Utopia, Weekly and, uh, like a possum on ABC All.

Nina Oyama

Nina Oyama

Tonight, she’s in great shape in front of a sold-out crowd. The happy gagger reminds us at the start of the show “If you don’t laugh, you learn” a professional warning.

Oyama chooses her targets (Hughesy and her additional mansion, Chris “Smug Mug” Kenny, Lizzo vs J-Lo, calzones) but mostly she attacks herself. The sardonic comic book also offers us a first leader for the best coat rack of the festival (no spoilers here).

Get your hands on a ticket for his 300-seat show just announced this Sunday at Max Watts. MIKEY CAHILL

Cockatiel, Charlie Zangel ★★★ ½
Comedy Republic, until April 5

After a short sketch documenting her adolescence and a recital of her single Queen of drama, Charlie Zangel sets the tone for the evening early on: “Are you ready to do some gay bullshit tonight?”

A former student of the MICF’s handpicked showcase The comedy zone like his flirty alter ego Charity Werk, Cockatiel sees Zangel drop makeup and spread his wings for a first hour solo.

Charlie zangel

Charlie zangel

Cockatiel is part of a bildungsroman of a teenager who directs a theater troupe in a Catholic high school realizing his sexuality; part of a comfortable and confident young genderqueer in his late twenties who sings original and parody songs.

There are also minimal references to the last restart of Strange eye for the straight dude, Hocus Pocus and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (which I have to admit, it all went right over my straight head) which the unusually full Wednesday night audience loved.

Cockatiel ends with a moment of tenderness – as Zangel remembers going out with his brother from one continent to another.

He’s here, he’s a queer. Get a ticket, quick. TYSON WRAY

Bob Franklin – Sir Robert’s Sports Legends ★★★★★
Greek Center, until April 4

'Mister' Bob Franklin

‘Mister’ Bob Franklin

With a mischievous glint in his eyes and a wry smile, Bob Franklin as Sir Robert takes the stage and sets the audience off from the start.

Sporting a tie and pulling on an unlit pipe, he is an image of sophistication hosting a charity night for the Shane Warne Reform Foundation. However, few are immune to his cynical and sarcastic genius. He calls out well-known names, spits them out with unparalleled panache.

An inspired selection of sports, entertainment and television identities are targeted – from Wayne Carey to Richard Wilkins. From Eddie McGuire to Russell Crowe. From Sam Newman to Anthony Mundine. From Scott Morrison to, of course, Shane Warne.

The naughty old actor’s turn of phrase as he lists items donated to charity auctions is enchanting, studded with rapid-fire barbs. Sir Bob is so inherently funny, all he has to do is swing his leg on a chair and the audience has a blast.

Under no circumstances do you need to follow sports to get the gags. It’s more of a social commentary with an added bite. And Wil Anderson, if you’re reading this you might want to skip this show. DONNA DEMAIO

Dave Thornton Novel Problems ★★★★
On the floor of the Forum until April 4

Dave Thornton should expect latecomers at every show. His gentle taunts of late latecomers set the tone for an hour of quick wit and joyful anecdotes.

Dave thornton

Dave thornton

He embarks on a flood of captivating stories. Thoughts on the lockdown (s) prevail as Thornton isn’t afraid to regale audiences with embarrassing ideas about being the father of two young girls – even with his wife in the audience.

Thornton’s many years on the tour have given him confidence and finesse on stage. He paces around, grabs a stool for a pit stop, and pulls back his locks, all while telling lively stories and sharing insightful observations.

He laughs at baby names, dog breeds, snobbery, cynics and playrooms. Don’t be surprised if the words fiddlesticks and tickety-boo keep coming back.

And if anyone in the audience leaves during their patter, they demonstrate exceptional prowess at reverse heckling. If you don’t want to become a target, be on time and make sure you have a drink or a washroom break before the show, not during. DONNA DEMAIO

Tommy Dassalo: Meatball! ½
Coopers Inn, until April 4

Tommy dassalo

Tommy dassalo

Stand-ups are artists whose canvas is their audience, which is why the comedians suffered particularly during the confinement of 2020.


Many have turned to the podcast to keep thinking aloud, but Melbourne’s Tommy Dassalo was there way before most, a longtime host of two shows (with admirable international following) that could one day serve as a memoir on the way the comics went through our COVID times.

He’s more than willing to continue to metastasize our collective trauma on stage this year, and while it’s far from a dark night of the soul, it’s slightly cathartic stuff, riffing on the shame we’d feel if our day was actually a touch related to how disappointed our 2020 would feel if they could see us now.

Her alluring loser persona is a millennial take on this vintage lore ranging from Charlie Brown to Spongebob Squarepants. Or think of George Costanza reduced to 3G coverage; the timeless appeal of someone losing their mind one marble at a time. JEAN BAILEY