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I went to see Christmas Spectacular at The Comedy Store last Saturday night in Moore Park. A rotating, hard hitting line-up of nine different and quirky stand up comedians ensured I lost my voice by the end of the show from two hours of non-stop laughter.
Be warned though, some humour as funny and crude as it was, is probably not for the faint hearted (i.e. lots of swearing, sexual references and some bathroom humour). Go in with an open mind and you'll be right.
How did I hear about the show?
Follow the Facebook page of The Comedy Store to receive regular updates on their latest shows. I saw The Biggest Comedy Show on Earth at The Comedy Store back in November which too was a rotating line up of stand-up comedians.
The first in line to my pleasant surprise was a work colleague and I soon discovered an upcoming and very funny comedian, Suren Jayemanne. He referred me to see 'A Mic in Hand', an open mic and professional comedy room at The Friend in Hand Pub in Glebe.
The night I went, Ray Badran was MC and by then, it was only the second show I saw of Ray's. Comedians like Ray have Twitter accounts which you can follow for regular '140 characters or less' laughs. I sent Ray a tweet with feedback on how my friends and I enjoyed his shows.
Ray sent me back a response which I very much appreciated letting me know when his next gig was on and the rest is history…I ended up at The Comedy Store Christmas Spectacular on Saturday night.
The Venue The Comedy Store is a venue in The Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park where you can watch stand up comedy throughout the year. After hiking up the stairs, the establishment has a bar where you hang out before and after the show.
Framed pictures of comedians are pinned on the walls in the bar area. The performances are held in the auditorium to the left as you walk out from the bar area. The stage is small with red curtains creating a relaxed casual atmosphere that oozes charm and cosiness, allowing for plenty interaction with the audience. A non-stop drink service is available direct to your table if you missed out on a drink before the show.
The establishment last night was a noisy full house, filled with friends and family, a group of real estate agents, and police officers who were there for a Christmas function, all out to share a laugh, and providing the comedians fresh targets for their spontaneous sketches later in the evening.
The Comedy Store venue at The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
There doesn't appear to be any bad seats in the house. If you are game, you can always opt for the front row seats where you have a high chance of being picked on by one of the show's comedians, ensuring your own sense of humour is tested. We had front row seats and we definitely were picked on.
In fact to go with the flow of the sketch, my friend was made to sing a response in High Priest church goer style. The bad singing and embarrassment was highly entertaining, resulting in a roaring audience and scored my friend a free drink in the end.
The format for the show opened with MC, Cam Knight, Australian comedian and television personality with movie star good looks, who brilliantly worked The Comedy Store crowd with his razor sharp humour from start to finish.
There were nine stand up acts all of which consistently had the audience roaring with laughter and falling off their seats throughout the two hour show.
Comedians at the Christmas Spectacular (left to right): Cam Knight (MC), Ronny Chieng, Ray Badran, Anil Desai
My top 3 stand out stand up comedians were as follows.
1. Anil Desai
This UK-Indian comedian with Jeff Goldblum eyes is a brilliant impressionist and had everyone in stitches. Throughout his performance, he weaves, twists, turns and transforms himself into our favourite movie stars with striking similarity.
Look out for Al Pacino, Jeff Goldblum, Robert De Niro (and without uttering a single word) and Donkey in Shrek impersonations. Clean, playful and highly enjoyable acts. I definitely will be looking out for more of his shows in Australia. Extraordinary talent and highly entertaining.
2. Ray Badran
Ray Badran is a genuinely funny guy, with his wild hair and beer bottle in hand. Ray had a relaxed, everyday-is-a-weekend demeanour about him with some of the most funny every day material that you can relate to. With real estate agents in the crowd, he nailed the real agent jokes which had them all rolling in the aisles.
Loved the voicemail joke too. A hard core Ray fan friend of mine wanted a t-shirt he was wearing at one of his other shows, which had a picture of himself and the words 'Greatest Comedian' printed on it. When I asked him about it, Ray's response was, "Limited edition. One only". (Sorry Adam, even if you were going to wear it to every comedy show of his and sit in the front row at every show).
3. Ronny Chieng
Ronny Chieng may be described as a Melbournian comedian of Malaysian Chinese background, with a slight Singaporean twang, intense, blunt, honestly indifferent and very funny. Ronny delivers hilarious gags that sends up oriental stereotypes, which I can relate to.
The IT support for his mother gag was the highlight as who hasn't experienced the pain of trying to explain to their own mother how to use the computer and the internet for the first time.
With a an excellent line up of the sharp comedic minds, this wonderful mix of comedians are a must see at The Comedy Store for the silly season.