I'm an inner-city rambler who's happy to share my best finds with you. My writing turns up in the local street press, magazines, and more. (This week's pic: face on a pole, Vulture-Boundary St intersection.)
I first saw Webb perform about twelve months ago, when I went along to the Paddo to see his previous show, 'Pundemonium'. While the performance I saw didn't actually contain many puns, it was still good fun. Webb riffed and roamed across a wide range of topics, improvising most of the show in response to input from the audience. He got plenty of laughs, and displayed an impressive ability to think on his feet.
At that stage, 'Pundemonium' was fairly polished (or as polished as improvisation gets, anyhow). In contrast, last Wednesday night was the first outing for 'Humanity', so I saw it in its rawest form. Webb plans to tour his new show in 2012, and is using the season at the Paddo to refine his material. Wisely, he made this part of the humour, openly bringing draft pages up on stage, crossing out gags that didn't fire, and giving the audience extra laughs as well as an insight into how a comic develops a new show.
So what is 'Humanity' about? Well, as its name suggests -- us. What makes us human, what make us inhumane, and how we judge each other. Webb tackles some of the big issues -- refugees, racism, compassion -- along with farts, whingers, and how sausage sizzles are used to entice hungover voters to election booths.
While the first ten minutes of the show were a bit preachy (and could safely be cut from later performances), once Webb hit his stride, it all got much funnier. He was at his best when telling anecdotes, and the evening's final story about Roberta and her glass eye had the room helpless with laughter.
All in all, it was a night with plenty of laughs and some interesting ideas. As the season progresses, I'll be curious to see how 'Humanity' evolves (no pun intended...).
And a couple of other things... If you're planning to go to the show, be aware that each performance will also feature an MC and a couple of local comedians who fill the first hour or so. These slots are often used to give new comedians a shot on stage, so the quality of the support acts can be very variable. On the night I attended, support act Damien Power and MC Mark Werner both got their share of laughs.
Oh, and if you want dinner, the Paddo has plenty of typical pub food on the menu (starting from about $6.50), as well as more up-market options.
Win a free double pass to 'Humanity' When the good folks at the Sit Down Comedy Club found out that I was reviewing 'Humanity', they kindly offered me some double passes to give away to readers. To enter, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Humanity' in the subject line.
If you're a winner, we'll send you an email letting you know which performance you can attend. There are passes available for every performance, so you can enter right up to midnight Saturday 10 December.