Careyness – Featuring Carey Marx

The Classic Studio, Auckland

11/05/2009 - 16/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

The top 10 most offensive subjects in comedy tested by the knife-edged standup.

At the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, English comedian, Carey Marx distilled, analysed and performed the 10 most offensive subjects in stand-up comedy.

Critics and audiences were moved … said…
Carey Marx seems to have an awful lot of people approach him after gigs to complain about his act. Almost every routine in this hour seems to involve him defending himself against some outraged punter – and once he embarks on his risqué material, you can understand why. But thank God for these easily-offended folk, for without them Marx wouldn’t have been forced to ponder the most offensive subjects in comedy, and so come up with this thoughtful, hilarious and near-the-knuckle show.

Are there any taboos left in comedy? Marx dismantles them one by one in a brilliantly controlled countdown of stand-up’s 10 least acceptable topics … This is comedy of the most cerebral variety, material capable of provoking both thought and laughter, well-paced and decisively delivered.

Less family-friendly is CAREY MARX, whose examination of the top 10 most offensive subjects to use in comedy could be an ugly parade of cheap, attention-seeking shock tactics. To his credit, it isn’t. Marx is a professional wind-up merchant, but in this show he resists the temptation to just go for the gags and instead offers a thoughtful explanation of the line between funny and foul. 3/5

So where do YOU draw the line?
Decide for yourself at the 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival

Dates:  Mon 11 to Sat 16 May / 7.15 pm
Venue:  The Classic Studio / 1st floor / 321 Queen St
Bookings:  0800Ticketek (842 5385) Online


Exploring what’s offensive: an erection for infectious comedy

Review by Nik Smythe 12th May 2009

In the intimate, rustic atmosphere of the Classic’s upstairs studio, Carey Marx, dressed in the standard issue Lenny Bruce uniform – jeans, black tee, check shirt – enters and gets the ball rolling with a jab at Shortland Street.  Fair enough.

Marx’s middle class British demeanor is strongly underpinned by a very wry, unhurried delivery.  He introduces the theme (offensive humour) through a few anecdotes about jokes he’s made that went wrong in the past that caused trauma and/or offence. This naturally paves the way to a deeper, more analytical exploration into the boundaries of objectionable taste in comedy.

For preliminary research, Marx discusses various modes of reaction, or ways of being offended, by whom, and why?  The syndrome whereby one can make fun of their own kind – e.g. fat, short, Jewish – is firmly established and the audience is well and truly lubricated for the main event: Carey Marx’s top ten list of the most offensive comedy topics, from least to most.

There’s no need to give it away (especially in the wake of Rhys Darby’s outspoken complaint). There are no real surprises in any of the ten subjects chosen but there would probably be debates over the selected ranking order.  I personally would have put either rape or paedophilia as no. 1 but Marx has other topics ahead of those. 

That’s just me of course.  He’s the one who’s put years of research into the results of utilising such humour so his conclusion is better informed in wider sociological terms.  And as truly interesting as the discourse arising from this study may be, it’s still mainly a structural foundation for Marx to erect his infectious comedy upon.

Marx engages effortlessly with the capacity crowd, making the usual small talk and using the offers he’s given to impressive ad-lib effect.  Not least with the baby in the front row, hopefully too young to be too adversely affected by the experience. 

A short run in a 66 seat venue tells me get your tickets now folks, if there are any left.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 



Rhys Latton May 12th, 2009

What was the gist of Rhys Darby's outspoken complaint?
...  [Link now inserted - ED]
... Oh. Fair enough.  Cheers.

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