May 5, 2016 Theatre
I guess it’s all in the telling. If you’re good enough, you can make anything funny. If you’re good enough, you can turn every innocuous remark into biting commentary and you can load the most idle style with the sharpest barbs.
That’s the theory of slacker comedy, isn’t it? Nothing’s worth too much effort, yeah, nah. But hang on, did you just slide that rapier right between my ribs?
I think that’s what Cori Gonzalez-Macuer is trying to do. He sure gets the first part right. Did a national tour of all the small towns, so now he’s got a long series of jokes about Timaru and Whakatane, etc, that are all, without exception, the easy clichés that pop up when you’re not actually noticing what’s happening around you or thinking about it very much. Could have stayed home and written that lot, mate. Maybe he did.
It’s not exactly that his heart’s not in it. Rather, his schtick is that he’s the guy whose heart’s not in it.
He’s got a toddler, so he’s got jokes about sleepless nights and poo. Actually, that’s literally true: the jokes are really nothing more than “sleepless nights” and “poo”. It’s not exactly that his heart’s not in it. Rather, his schtick is that he’s the guy whose heart’s not in it.
He’s also the guy who doesn’t give a shit about diction, so he swallows his own jokes and you can’t always hear what he’s saying. Weirdly, he then seems to worry when people don’t always laugh. Dude!
Still, it all might work if there was something else going on underneath. When you’re the slacker who invites your audience to share your congenital belief that it’s too hard, or too pointless, or maybe too dangerous, to commit, don’t you then have to turn around and slide the blade in anyway? Maybe Cori Gonzalez-Macuer did that and I just didn’t notice. But I wasn’t alone. Among the big audience on opening night there were many people being little more than hopefully polite.
Fuck it. Okay, be funnyish. But once in a while, when you look at your own life and think, what can I say about this that might make people laugh, couldn’t you look hard enough to find something distinct? Don’t generalise. Be fresh, be particular, be you. And get out the fucking rapier.
Awesome? Nah, bro, until May 7, Basement Theatre. Book tickets.