Jokes about dads, not dad jokes.
Nath Valvo has crafted a show featuring a unifying narrative on a theme that all of us can relate to: fearing becoming like our parents. 'Tongue In Cheek' hones in on that pre-pubescent phase where everything about our mum and dad embarrasses us: our dad’s snotty hanky or our mum’s insistence that we eat more fruit.
As puberty sets in, though, new causes of embarrassment arise. Valvo, as a 32-year-old gay man, hilariously relates the perils of seeking porn in a pre-broadband, pre-Snapchat era. Anyone who remembers sneaking up to the lounge room to watch SBS world movies will be reduced to fits of hysterics.
Apart from the universal theme parental embarrassment, the other major theme of Valvo’s show is his homosexuality and lack of masculinity. Again, though, he delivered his material in a way that guarantees that anyone can relate; for example, he compares the experiences of heterosexual singles on Tinder to his experiences on Grindr.
Sometimes the content is so graphic that, in the hands of a lesser comedian, audience members may feel discomfort or awkwardness. Valvo does such a good job at establishing a relationship with the crowd that he can broach any topic. Couples attending the show should be warned that they may be called on stage to be impromptu contestants in a game show entitled “Let’s Break Them Up”. Like with the whole show, however, it is all in good fun or tongue in cheek.
Nath Valvo performs The Garden of Unearthly Delights until 28 February.