The City Weekly (Incorporating The Sydney Times) April 15 - 21 1999
mikey robins picture

comic plus festival

By the time you read this I will be wasted. I will be a sad excuse for a human being, probably face down on a conrete floor, begging for loose change and wondering where the hell my pants are. And, before you say anything, this is not that regular an occurance. It happens but once a year . . . and that once is the damn Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Look, I love Melbourne. Melbourne's not the problem. It's the comedy and festival combination that causes such heartache. I like comedy and, will, everyone likes a festival, but that's no damn reason to throw them together.

A whole month of comedy is too much for anyone to endure. And if you think it's tought having to go out and see comedy every night - and I know of sane people who, by the end of the festival, would rather go to a heart and lung transplant than laugh through yet another stand up - imagine working there.

Can I describe a bar room full of comedians to you? You all know the often sadly true cliche of a screwed up comics are, well get about a hundred of them into a room with vast amounts of booze and watch them bounce around trying desperately not to fall over. It's like a room full of really ugly supermodels. Or maybe I'm just being paranoid, am I? Tell me please, I promise that I can cope with it, am I really being paranoid?

What, oh what, has such a beautiful city like Melbourne done to deserve this invasion of socially wakward yucksters? In fact the festival bar often resembles the beach of Normandy if the Germans had been lobbing VB bottles instead of hand grenades. And, of a day, these same barrels of fun roam the streets like hung over vampires hiding from the sun and bludging cigarettes from decent hard working smokers (I've been told there are a few left) and generally frightening the kiddies.

And Melbourne kiddies don't need comedians, it's international comics rushing lemming-like to pursue our good Aussie laughs that you have to contend with as well. Here's a little hint on dealing with either the American of English ones - remind them about how screwed up our exchange rate is, and that should have theem weeping into their lagers before you can say "bad balance of trade figures".

To put it into perspective, the whole Comedy Festival thing starts as fun,, but remember what your mother always said when things started out as fun - "It'll end in tears". And they'll probably be mine. So, if over the next few weeks you're strolling through Melbourne and you spot my form, could you please give me some change, or buy me a beer or, even better, if you'v got some really good Kennett jokes, I could do with some just to tide me over. Pay you back, promise. #

-Mikey Robins

Typed up by VellaB.
Next Article: 29 April 1999; modern mysteries Last Week: 8 April 1999; jasmine
If you have a copy of the article published in the 22 - 29 April 1999 (Volume 4, Number 14) edition, I would be muchly appreciative if you could email me. Thanks!