“I have a child and a house and all this responsibility, and I don’t really like the responsibility. I do it, but I don’t like it. I don’t want to grow up. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t think you should. It’s all a big scam: we’ve all been scammed.”
From the shock of that ever-growing sense of responsibility comes ‘Man Child’, Eddie’s latest comedy hit. ‘Man Child’ is a show about growing up without growing old, the journey of a man trying to be a good father while feeling like he’s still a child himself.
Though we’re taught not to talk honestly about how much adulthood can suck, ‘Man Child’ is a celebration of that perfect truth we’ve all tried to ignore. “Watch people as they work, they look miserable. Go on a subway, everybody’s miserable, nobody’s enjoying themselves. I don’t wanna grow up. I wanna be a kid.”
Eddie is committed to learning the best ways to blend responsibility and fun. And though his sense of adventure has a knack for making the neighbours ring his wife to rat him out, he might just have a point. The problem, of course, is that the real world has a nasty habit of wandering into our down time, and with the world as it is, it’s hard to fully escape the rising stress about what happens next.
Comedians have a knack for playing oblivious for laughs, but if you’re waiting for Eddie to ignore the orange elephant in the room, you’re in for a hell of a wait. In a world where National Parks have gag orders about environmental facts, and NASA’s gone rogue, creative types are stepping up to fight the Trumpocalypse in their own, unique ways.
A vocal dissenter on social media, Eddie has found those same topics creeping into his shows. “I pay attention to politics because I worry about my daughter. I’m doing a lot about politics this year because you can’t live in America, or the world right now without talking about the Antichrist that has been put upon us.”
It can be hard to find the right angle. “Obama didn’t give us much to joke about. But I didn’t mind it, because then it gets more personal, and there’s better stuff to get to: juicier, more unique stuff. When a President is this much of an idiot, it’s low-hanging fruit. The jokes are too easy: I like digging deeper.”
Eddie is aggressively sanguine about it all, though. “I’m starting to believe it’s a good thing, and here’s why: America was asleep at the wheel, and we needed to wake up. As much as he’s horrific – he’s a horrible human being – one of two things is gonna happen: either we’re really gonna fix things, or this is Nazi Germany and we’re all gonna die.
“But what I’m seeing now is this re-emergence of America: everybody’s getting involved. Everybody’s paying attention.”
The best part of childhood, perhaps, is the ability to remain optimistic.
Eddie Ifft performs at Umbrella Revolution at the Garden of Unearthly Delights as part of Adelaide Fringe 17 February until 19 March. He also plays the Comedy Store (Sydney) 10-11 February.