It’s fair to say that for an hour he had done just that. His stand-up show had been a casual and loose affair where he often made it appear like he was talking off-the-cuff and making cheeky asides when in reality there were a few well-thought out jokes thrown into the mix and some other stuff that was riffing off the crowd, realised and delivered in the spur of the moment.
The front row did not get off lightly at Akmal’s show. It wasn’t vicious banter but instead some gentle digs and a whole lot of sarcasm. We met some young blokes as well as a large, bald man named John who looked like a bikie. Akmal didn’t just pick on his audience – he also directed potshots at himself – at one point telling John that the two of them could put their bald heads together and, quote, “form an ass.” Akmal also described his performances on reality TV shows even though he hates the genre. They were the cushion-loving 'Selling Houses Australia' and of course 'I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!' where he appeared alongside Shane Warne.
There were moments in the night when you feel like you could be sitting in Akmal’s living room and enjoying a drink and a yarn. His jokes were often quite personal and he also had such a friendly and chatty manner that it’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a mate, not a comedian. The material may not have been as polished as some stand-ups, but it was cheeky and uncouth, and did have a certain charm to it.
Akmal’s show had ultimately been an engaging and occasionally crude night with the Punchbowl-via-Cairo funny man. He delivered a show that was full of self-proclaimed “funny shit” and had mixed this with a great dash of silliness and enjoyable repartee. Nice.
Akmal Saleh Tour Dates2 June – The Fraternity Club, Fairy Meadow (New South Wales)
3 June – Wests Illawarra Leagues Club, Unanderra (New South Wales)
16 June – The J (Noosa)
17 June – Hervey Bay RSL Club
30 June – Brothers Leagues Club (Cairns)
1 July – The Ville Resort-Casino (Townsville)
13 July – Broome Civic Centre
14 July – Matt Dann Theatre & Cinema (Western Australia)
10 August – Burnie Arts & Function Centre
11 August – Country Club Casino (Launceston)
12 August – Wrest Point Casino (Hobart)