Justin Hamilton: Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994
Highly amicable company fails to make impact with ill-aimed lines
This article is from 2014.
Words can be used as weapons, skewering society and its ills with strategically chosen phrases for a successfully potent, perhaps even offensive routine. This Australian comic tackles the battleground of the stage in a far less confrontational style, however, rattling at a hearty pace through common or garden observational topics like parents arguing in hushed tones in public.
Describing himself as an ‘over-thinker’, he also jokes about trying to explain his comedy style (‘a puckish satire about the differences between men and women’) to an audience of hostile bikers. Highly amiable company, there is a more military bent to Hamilton's routine, not in his delivery but rather in anecdotes about performing to troops in Afghanistan. He hits a poignant note with one particularly nerve-wracking moment, and it throws into sharp relief the daily, deadly threats which that particular audience faces compared to having to deflect a barbed heckle.
His claim that ‘all a comedian wants is to make people laugh and have a good time’, might not be a magnet for critical acclaim but it’s not to be totally sneered at. ‘I make a living from words’, he also says, but his set could detonate far more laughs by deploying some more accurately-aimed lines.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 24 Aug (not 13), 9.15pm, £9-£10 (£7-£9).