Friday Night Guilt Club

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

05/11/2010 - 03/12/2010

Production Details

Remember Remember the 5th of November

FRIDAY 5th NOVEMBER sees the launch of the FRIDAY NIGHT GUILT CLUB, with MC Dai Henwood’s John D’Banktellerand our very first celebrity guest DJs, comedians Heidi and Rose.

A monthly alternative comedy gig that takes place on the first Friday of every month 10pm @The Basement… even more fun than the RSA!

This month’s comedy line up includes Billy T Award Winner Rhys Mathewson, Billy T Award Nominee Joseph Harper, Billy T Magician Jarred Fell, Billy T Expert Guy Williams, Billy T Fan Barnaby Fredric and Billy T’s Dad John Carr.

Don’t forget to join us
10pm @The Basement
$10 door sales.
Click here why don’t you.

Each month we’ll be asking our special guests to confess their music video secret pleasures….

The Story of The FNGC

1st Friday of every month

Casual weird ramblings and experimental oddities and stuff

Review by Nik Smythe 06th Nov 2010

It’s your classic (i.e. the basement thereof) grungy laid back late nite edgy and experimental alternative stand-up comedy vehicle. Standup comics of all ages try out their latest ideas on a modest crowd of punters, and each other, to typically mixed effects. 

For décor the show is at the mercy of the main programme playing at 8.00pm. In this case they are fortunate to get to use the set for Mojo, an expansive bar room venue set bedecked with gaudy sequined green mesh around the walls and ceiling; as perfect as they could have hoped for, audience table seating included which always helps to relax the atmosphere. 

Less fortunate is the fact that Mojo not only runs 2 hours 15, making the advertised 10pm start time for Guilt Club untenable, but this particular Friday night they’re running overtime, so it’s about quarter to eleven by the time the late show kicks off. This wouldn’t be as much of an imposition if it weren’t for the theatre’s notoriously insufficient sound-proofing meaning we have to be shut out of the bar/restroom area to chat amongst ourselves in the cold night air without access to beverages or relief. 

However, everyone appears to dutifully stick around and we are eventually seated in anticipation of some possibly racy and hopefully humorous comedy. Our MC tonight is veteran bogan meathead bank teller Johnny D’Bankteller, a classic early persona of Dai Henwood who I recall first appeared on telly back in the halcyon days of Ice TV.   Inanity reigns as John shows off his ‘jeggings’ (skin-tight elastic grey acid-wash jeans), sporting a blonde heavy-metal wig, an eleven-o’clock shadow and a moronic, slightly dangerous stoner’s grin. 

After a stilted, directionless warm-up seemingly designed to gauge our humour levels and/or render us uneasily uncertain about what to expect, he introduces the first performer, excruciatingly awkward young Joseph Harper. Armed with a handful of second-rate gags about money, employment and advertising, Harper’s humour is all but entirely driven by his endearing personality, a shy adolescent weed who wants to prove something but seems like he wishes he didn’t have to.

Next up, Jared Fell amuses and disgusts with his cheeky young street-smart stage-magician routine that borders on the scatological. Then the amiable John Carr takes the stage to represent the middling-to-elderly generation, having turned to stand-up comedy when a crumping injury ended his hip hop career. 

Rhys Mathewson follows, one of the industry’s youngest veterans, with a slightly more original concept: using ideas supplied by the audience he constructs a joke before our very eyes, along the way demonstrating the various formulas for developing jokes as utilised by mainstream comedians since ages ago. Again, the personality overrides the material.

Barnaby Fredric is next, in character as Afrikaans knife salesman Hans Violence. The gratuitous South-African stereotype seems to be the last remaining form of acceptable racism in modern-day culture, ironically due to their own historically bigoted views on certain ethnicities. 

Vertically advantaged Guy Williams finishes off the evening in classic deadpan/awkward style (according to Mathewson’s handy guide to comic types). He is a worthily amusing conclusion to a slightly dragging evening, although it’s well after midnight by now and I confess I’m struggling to recall anything he actually talked about. It’s a shame there were no female practitioners on the programme tonight; hopefully next month… 

No mention is made by any of the lineup of the fact that we’re running so late; surprising. I’d have thought it was the kind of literally up-to-the-minute subject matter that would provoke a crack from someone or two, not the least Henwood. It could have dispelled some mild resentment, to have our being stuck outside in the cold for over half an hour given at least an attempt at a punchline, satisfying or otherwise.

In spite of this, there are enough peaks among the troughs to keep us entertained throughout the two hours of weird casual ramblings and experimental comedic oddities and stuff.  
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