Here is why I woke up bladder-bustingly excited this morning: Two of my favourite comedians will be gracing my favourite comedy venue simultaneously in a mere matter of days, and it may just be too much for my little brain to handle.
Justin Hamilton is one of the current fathers of Melburnian comedy. Beginning his career in Adelaide nearly 20 years ago, it has so far been a prolific one across TV (The Librarians, Good News Week, The Glass House, Spicks and Specks), Radio (Triple M and Triple J), and writing (Before the Game). As a comedian, he has seen Melbourne International Comedy Festival domination after domination, with at least four festival awards under his belt for his own shows, and having directed some of Melbourne's most promising new comedians, including Tommy Dassalo and Tegan Higginbotham. He has performed as a support act for Wil Anderson, Rove McManus, and Tom Rhodes. More recently, he is also responsible for the Toff's perpetually sold-out comedy seasons; The Shelf.
His self-deprecating, gently cynical, and universally appealing style of humour is delivered with an enthusiasm and fervour that drags his audience into his stories and keeps them there until he leaves the stage. In my time following him around Melbourne's comedy rooms, I have gathered invaluable advice on what to do when a friend has an ugly baby, how to deal with angry New Zealanders, what happens after 40, and the exercise-Bounty-Bar trade-off, among many, many other things.
Gently cynical, self-deprecating, flawlessly-written humour delivered by the man at the forefront of Melbourne's comedy scene. Image source: www.justinhamilton.com.au
He is always behind the Melbourne comedy scene, having devoted his life to making it faster, better, and stronger, but it is always a pleasure (and I believe, a privilege) to see Hamilton on-stage in his element. This week provides an amazing opportunity to do that.
Tom Gleeson is by far one of the angriest people I have ever seen on a stage, and it is always inexplicable fun to watch. Having begun on TV's Skithouse in 2003, he may be best recognised by some as The Australian Fast Bowler. He has since appeared on The Morning Show, The 7pm Project, Good News Week, Sunrise, Thank God You're Here, and The Glass House. Possibly one of his most impressive and qualifying moments was when Louis CK (The international Comedian's Comedian) chose him as his support act during his Australian tour.
Gleeson's standup style is one that few comedians have managed to do well; rather than the traditional self-deprecation, he deprecates everyone and everything else. Where so many others have failed, Gleeson has nailed it.
Hilarious, angry, and unpredictable; Gleeson never fails to deliver a high-energy, quality performance. Image source: www.thecomicslounge.com.au
The shows that I have seen involving Gleeson have always been both hilarious and unpredictable, with his show last year seeing his Mum get up to perform the encore (after an apparently successful open mic night on a cruise). He is high energy, acutely observational, and articulates with an addictive style.
The Comic's Lounge itself is a mere 10 minute tram trip from the CBD and contains a fantastic ambience, $12 cocktails, $6 house wine, and some of my best memories. I have never had a bad night there.
If you do not already have other plans this weekend, I recommend they involve at least one night at the Comic's Lounge in North Melbourne. If you do already have other plans this weekend, I recommend you rethink them.
This will be a rare and exciting night of quality comedy from two amazing comedians at an amazing venue.