Comedy Underground, 305 Queen St, Auckland

23/04/2008 - 26/04/2008

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

YOU’LL BE ROFLYAO (Rolling on floor laughing your ass off)

Sam Spooner and Ben Kettell will be bringing tag team stand-up comedy to the New Zealand Comedy Festival for the first time ever in the show "LoL".

The jokes are not set in stone, or told in one straight sitting. Ben and Sam tag in and tag out depending on the feel of the crowd.

Running back and forth on and off stage with jokes that link, hilarious retorts, there own personal heckles, and feeding off each other energy to make the laughs harder and faster than ever before.

Thus the show is a show for the high-tech generation mixing multimedia skits, wrestling parody and tag team comedy together, into an entertaining hour filled with lots of bright flashy images, jokes, fast movements and even a bit of a song.

Themes such as ADD, popular culture, Dragon Ball Z, the Police, Growing up in your parents shadow, and getting caught shaving your pubes are just a few of the golden gems that will be devolved.

While aimed at a generation of net savvy people anyone can enjoy a laugh as it’s incredibly relatable, especially to the average person’s life.

As stand-up comedians, Sam Spooner and Ben Kettell are both Comedy Festival virgins and don’t fit into the standard mould of a ‘normal’ comic. So this show will showcase there talents in there own unique way.

Ben is a hardworking up and comer who has been on the circuit for three years. Ever since first seeing ‘The Big Howick Giggle’ back when in 2002, he has dreamed of being in the festival. A regularly talent for ConArtist and top talent on the rookie circuit Ben will show off what he is made of and impress everyone.

Sam was the first ever class comedian. He had a bright future following that with work on Classic TV and regular spots at the Classic Comedy Bar. Yet disaster struck years back after he was diagnosed with a potentially deadly tumour. Now it’s fully removed Sam is fully clean (as clean as a tube up the penis can possibly be) and ready to his position in the comedy world.

Together Ben and Sam intend to shock the world with their comedy talent, and original show concept showing the future of New Zealand comedy is bright.

The perfect show if you keen to have a ‘LOL’ or even let out a ‘ROFL’

Dates: April 23rd – 26th, 10pm
Venue: Comedy Underground, Wallace Trust Gallery, 305 Queen St, Auckland
Tickets: Adults $14.50, Concessions and Groups of 10+ $11.50 (service fee may apply)
Bookings: TICKETEK – 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration: 1 hour

1hr, no interval

The only way is up

Review by Nik Smythe 26th Apr 2008

In their self-proclaimed show ‘by geeks, for geeks’, Ben Kettel and Sam Spooner (yet not a kitchenware joke between them!?) claim to be of a different ilk to the generation X one that they ‘just don’t get’, but they’re slackers all over.  They’re twenty year olds just like my friends and I were when we were twenty nearly twenty years ago.

Sam’s the larger one with good natural timing but falls short in the punchlines department.  Ben has less of the effortlessly funny attitude but slightly more colours to his palette of material.  Neither is entirely without charm and their jokes are presumably original yet largely unsurprising. 

The main gimmick, or concept if you like, is that they’re semi-improvising which is to say they don’t do their routines in any set order.  Rather they go with the feel of the crowd, utilising the time honoured wrestling tradition of tagging each other in and out of tight/ awkward/ lame/ deadly silent spots, of which there are many.  At one point they just tagged each other back and forth like a couple of nerds slap fighting. 

One reasonably inspired part is where they attempt to match-make two random single young people in the audience simply by having them sit together and checking in periodically.  It didn’t go off this night, and I find myself wondering if it ever has or will?  Law of averages…

Their live act is interspersed with filmed sketches introduced as ‘LOL-TV’, which contains a number of the 50 minute gig’s highlights and its fair share of clangers amongst it.  It seems a bit like a way of copping out of having to come up with too much live content, but it also means we’re not lingering too long in any one paradigm which is a good strategy for newcomers with such a fragmented repertoire of routines.

To be fair the audience was laughing a fair amount of the time, and certainly there are glimmers of promise, particularly in Kettel’s material and Spooner’s natural comedic personality.  For these plucky young rookies the only way is up; that is to say they could have been worse but they really couldn’t afford to be.

I didn’t get the name of the chap who introduced them and ran the AV, but he seems a nice fellow and is to be commended for his part, in particular his role in the on-screen sketches as the guy miming a violin you can hear behind a range of schmoes having different kinds of a bad day.


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