Just For Laughs Sydney celebrated its seventh birthday and the festivities included a lot more than a birthday cake.
They decided to celebrate in style with a hilarious all-star gala at the Sydney Opera House (16 September). The night was a veritable smorgasbord of funny sets that offered more than a few dishes for the pièce de résistance.
Australia’s beloved Hughesy (Dave Hughes as he’s known to his parents) did a fantastic job as the MC for the evening. He delivered short and punchy bits that never overstayed their welcome about his wife and three kids who all seem to enjoy having digs at the comedian at home. You get the sense that the Hughes family would be a great source of inspiration for a family sitcom, so TV executives take note! Plus, when Hughesy’s kids weren’t saying the darndest things and having the last laugh, there was always Hughesy’s battles with the family dog, errant fridges, roadside jugglers and eating fish and chips in a car that’s a touch paranoid about its passengers. Very funny stuff indeed.
Denise Scott had some fun things to say about the birthday present she received from her dearest, as well as the different stages a mother goes through with their kids as they get older. It’s a shame that Anne Edmonds’ slot wasn’t as amusing. Her talk seemed to involve the well-trodden road of shoe-shopping without adding anything particularly witty or interesting. She did however, finish on a high note – quite literally – by fulfilling a lifelong dream to sing a few bars while on the Opera House stage.
The name Gad Elmaleh may not mean a lot to some Australian comedy fans but he’s a big deal over in France. He recently shared a stage with none other than Jerry Seinfeld. Elmaleh’s material was very clever as he dissected some funny cultural clashes with respect to Americans speaking English. Elmaleh’s first language is French so he had some trouble understanding things like, “I’m down” and “I’m up for it” the first time and let’s just say we’re all in agreement that you shouldn’t go overboard using emojis.
Flying the American flag for the evening was Bert Kreischer, a man who performed shirtless and who is known in most parts as The Machine. The crowd seemed to enjoy his set, which all too often veered off in a cloud of smoke into the realm of political incorrectness.
Kevin Bridges is a self-proclaimed Adonis around Glasgow and was the absolute highlight of the evening. His set was by far the most varied in terms of topics. He tackled everything from hecklers, suicide bombers and hotel Wi-Fi to accents and diets. Messer Bridges is a man we’d all love to share a pint at the pub with because you can guarantee he’ll have heaps of hilarious anecdotes and stories to share and that’s not even counting that beautifully ridiculous segment of 'Would I Lie To You' where he described buying a horse in Bulgaria. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to get over to YouTube stat.
The final artist of the night was the consistently funny Wil Anderson. His act was more of a political statement thanks to his witty takes on the Trump presidency, climate change and marriage equality. He is always a clever and thought-provoking comic, so it was great to end the night on such an intelligent high.
The Just For Laughs Sydney All-Star Comedy Gala delivered lots of laughter and mirth. The line-up was an interesting one that delivered in spades. Punters could find a lot that appealed to their individual senses of humour as these high-quality comedians tickled their funny bones and rib cages. Let’s raise our glasses and look forward to birthday number eight.