POKING FUN AT ANYTHING AND EVERYONE
NZ International Comedy Festival|
Mickey D in Too Mickey Bro!
at San Francisco Bathhouse, 171 Cuba St, Wellington
From 19 May 2009 to 23 May 2009
[1hr, no interval]
Reviewed by Hannah Smith, 21 May 2009
"Don't worry," the usher says helpfully, "he doesn't do any kind of audience interaction at all. You'll be alright."
And we are. Mickey D's genial warmth, impressively expressive face and infectious enjoyment of his own jokes have the audience eating out of his hand from the moment he comes on stage. He has no need to directly address innocent members of the public in order to engage us; rather we are drawn in by his boundless energy and open and obvious pleasure in laughing and making people laugh.
He starts with the premise 'we should be able laugh at anything' and some of the material is not for the faint of heart or delicate of sensibilities. Mickey D has been to some crazy parties and he has some wild work stories to tell.
There is no kind of through-line or overarching structure to the set, just a series of anecdotes and impersonations, but the stories segue seamlessly from one to another with strong enough links and plenty of reincorporation to give the whole a sense of coherence.
Whilst not particularly cutting or insightful the material never fails to be entertaining and he uses a wide range of mime, voice and outrageous facial expressions to bring the characters that people his anecdotes to life.
Mickey D is clearly a comedy pro; he reads his audience like a book and even teases us: "Don't worry, don't worry - it'll get funny in just a minute." He is also an out-and-out charmer who sweet-talks the crowd, saying how much he loves us and also how much he loves New Zealand. In less capable hands this could have seemed smarmy, but Mickey D has enough sincerity to pull it off - and flattery will get you everywhere.
The easily offended should steer clear, but if you're game for poking fun at anything and everyone then this could be the highlight of your festival.
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