Gerard Dougherty - Jokes about Birds

Moons Restaurant and Bar, 286 Princes Street, Dunedin, Dunedin

14/03/2024 - 16/03/2024

Dunedin Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Created and performed by Gerard Dougherty

Gerard’s debut solo comedy hour Jokes About Birds is guaranteed to leave your sides sore from laughter and your head questioning everything you knew.

There will be minimum 5 jokes about birds, then a boatload of jokes ranging from wacky geopolitical solutions to wild escapades.

Moons Restaurant and Bar, Dunedin 14-15-16 March, 6pm

Stand-up comedy , Theatre , Comedy , Solo , [R18] ,


A lot of audience engagement

Review by Hannah Molloy 15th Mar 2024

Gerard Dougherty is doing his own door list when we arrive, quite cheerful and charming but with an assessing look in his eye as well. The audience, at Moon’s downstairs performance space, is fairly mixed age and gender wise, not so much for other demographics. 

Gerard’s show is called Jokes About Birds and he introduces it with a disclaimer that it’s not all about birds, but some is about his life as well. He sprinkles his anecdotes with facts about birds and there are indeed a couple of anecdotes that include a bird as a main feature. He’s very clearly a pīwakawaka stan.

There isn’t a particular arc or connecting thread that I could pick out, and his anecdotes range from falling a bit flat to inducing widespread snort laughs although a couple of audience members are having a fantastically hilarious time. Gerard reminds me a little bit of a fisherman testing different lures in a river to see which ones the fish will bite on. He also sort of reminded me of some of my nephews at a family party with a lot of aunties around – supremely confident in themselves but a little self-conscious as well. 

Gerard started a few jokes that could have evolved into deeper commentary about global and social issues – there’s definitely plenty of material to work with these days – but they mostly don’t go anywhere much and some of them feel a bit uncomfortable coming from a mid-30s straight white man. They probably just need some more thought and scripting but it makes it a bit hard to tell what sort of comedy he wants to be doing. He saves the best for last though, painting a funny picture of a very stoned person running wildly through a paddock and disturbing a goose. 

There’s a lot of audience ‘engagement’ in the form of “do you want to hear…”, “who has done …” and similar. The audience occasionally responds in a way that throws him but he charms his way back around to the point (or just picks up his own thread).

Overall, this show feels like experimentation and rehearsing work in front of a live audience which is entirely to be expected during Fringe and maybe one of the best things about the Festival. Even if the content isn’t particularly my jam, it’s fun to watch someone taking steps on their performing arts journey. 


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