Jason John Whitehead: Emotional Whitemale

Happy (Cnr Tory & Vivian), Wellington

06/05/2009 - 09/05/2009

Limelight Lounge, Aotea Centre, Auckland

19/05/2009 - 23/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

JJ Is Back!!

Canadian comic Jason John Whitehead is back at the festival with his new show, the title of which is a pun no less!!

At the 2007 New Zealand International Comedy Festival he debuted for us with his well received show ‘pretending…..’, last year it was ‘The Joker’ and now Whitehead brings us his latest hour of introspective and sharp stand-up comedy; Emotional Whitemale. When do you get to start your 5 year plan over again? Whitehead will cover the usual array of compelling topics; life, love, the pursuit of debauchery and prevention of happiness, or is it the other way around? Don’t worry, if you haven’t seen any of the jokes from his first two shows you’ll still get the jokes in this one.

"Whitehead’s informal, almost friendly delivery masks the subtlety and thoughtfulness of his material. He gives the impression of rambling somewhat aimlessly, speaking on any passing whim, but it is a meticulously constructed soliloquy’ – Herald Star

"The cool Nova Scotian is the epitome of easy, effortless observational humour" – The Evening Standard

"Very Enjoyable performance…..deceptively cutting" – The List 

Dates:  Tues 5 May – Sat 9 May, 8.30pm
Venue:                 Happy Bar
Tickets:  Adults $22 / Conc. $18 / Groups 10+ $18
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385) www.ticketek.co.nz

Dates:  Tues 19 May – Sat 23 May, 8.30pm
Venue:                 Limelight Laugh Lounge
Tickets:  Adults $22 / Conc. $18 / Groups 10+ $18
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (0800842 5385) www.ticketek.co.nz 

1hr, no interval

Satire based or simply silly

Review by Candice Lewis 20th May 2009

Sitting at round tables in the strangely cold Limelight theatre, we are so close to the stage that Jason John Whitehead (Canadian) is able to maintain direct eye contact with us.

It’s a wee bit disconcerting, a forced intimacy highlighting those of us who do or do not laugh at the appropriate moments. Fortunately there are enough laughs to sustain the evening and I don’t have to force a fearful smile into place.

For the most part JJ’s confidential and rambling style is working well. His delivery brings to mind a looser, less offensive Bill Hicks. He attempts and mostly succeeds in taking a law or thought from either end of the political spectrum and brutalizing it for all its comic worth. I laugh a lot, even whilst I ponder and quickly refute much of his logic. 

And therein lies the point, which he insists on pointing out throughout the evening. A lot of his show is satire based or simply silly. I like silly, it’s the suture to the wounds he makes us face. 

Most of the audience enjoy his stinging take on subjects as diverse as fatherhood, to being mistaken for a Nazi. When you laugh at something, it takes the fear and power of it away.

I wince a few times and am taken to dark places when he extends the joke on beating undisciplined children, but that wouldn’t stop me from seeing JJ again. Anyone who even remotely makes me think of Bill Hicks is worth it. Enjoy.
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From true places

Review by John Smythe 06th May 2009

He can flash a fine set of white gnashers to counter any shock we might feel at something that’s slipped from those oh-so-innocent lips. This is what he means, I guess, with his ’emotional whitemail’ tag.

After being introduced (not by himself) as "an emotional white male", Jason John Whitehead’s opening ramble about how the title is supposed to be a pun sets the tone for a relaxed and deceptively random set. It won’t matter how we react, he’ll make a virtue of it anyway – like noting the way we Kiwi’s titter behind our hands at the politically incorrect bits.

His "stoner dude" persona with a Scooby Doo voice lends credence to the East Canadian innocence he claim to have entered the wider world with, approaching all with a laid back tolerance. But he’s into his 30s now and more prepared to confront what pisses him off, like righteous people … And now his voice takes on a Seinfeld tone.

His targets and topics also include reality TV, sport, sporty people, drugs in sport, fear of Easter, the dangers of cyber social networking, his girlfriend, his biological clock, the kid question, living in England …

Whitehead works the intimate if awkward space that is Happy with practised ease, engaging with specific audience members without exploiting them.

"Comedy should come from a true place," he says. And yes, he comes from Canada. And North London.
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. 


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