Freelance writer, science student and incurable smart aleck.
I have something to confess. I loathe comedy that utilises puppetry. Maybe it's my long standing fear of ventriloquist dummies or the countless episodes I endured of Strassman as a child in the late 90's, but I've always avoided it like the plague.
For those of you have never encountered Randy before, he's a purple puppet that rose to fame with Sammy J in 'Ricketts Lane' and was a regular on Good News Week, Good News World and pretty much every Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala that has occurred in recent years. He's won a slew of awards and even makes guest appearances at music festivals across the country.
Randy, is without a doubt, Australia's favourite comedic puppet. Brutally honest, a little outlandish and always entertaining, it was for this style the duo won worldwide acclaim and endearment. This was up until March 19th 2013, the two decided to part ways and each try their hands at solo comedy shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Randy Is Sober and Sammy J respectively.)
And what a show! An impressive lamentation of the puppets own struggles with ending a lifelong love affair with booze, Randy Is Sober, is proof that not all sober people (or hot glued pieces of felt) are boring and humourless.
Running just over an hour, set in the architectural beauty that was the Athenaeum, a rather surreal blend of stunning architecture and vomit jokes was just an amazing event to behold.
The crowd was in hysterics for pretty much all of the performance. It really speaks volumes to the comedic talent of Heath McIvor (the puppeteer.) I'm not sure if it was just me but at times you'd get really drawn into the story and forget you're being entranced by a puppet.
Think about what a charismatic, foul mouthed adult Grover would be like if he chilled out and attended AA meetings. Then you're about halfway there.
The material was fantastic, moving from a good drunk story, to biting social commentary and observation. I genuinely don't think a single joke fell flat and the audience hung on his every word and gesticulation.
Sadly enough, Randy is Sober had a two show only run at the comedy festival this year, but if you do happen to get a chance to check it out or buy the DVD through either feltface.com or laughstingstock.com.au