Aaron Chen remains an engaging and likeable comedian, so much so, he is paradoxically an established rising star.
His latest show ‘Mr Cigarette’ confirms everything we already know, Aaron is funny as hell and whether constructed or genuine, his persona is perfectly calibrated.
The funny man gets laughs where there could have been none, smooths over the jokes that don’t land and presents his nerd-like frame and look with the swagger of a rock star.
Not to dismiss his jokes which are often great, but Aaron is regularly better than his material.
Sometimes his jokes contain punch lines that can be seen ahead of time but when he plays with the crowd, even predictable responses become electric in their delivery. The smallest of actions often get the biggest of laughs.
The stand-up states with tongue firmly in cheek that ‘Mr Cigarette’ is his most personal work yet, indeed he does tell stories about his childhood and travels interspersed with multimedia projections on screen.
It did seem as the second half rolled on, the crowd’s enthusiasm died down, the laughs didn’t come as thick and fast and arguably the length could be shortened.
On the other hand it feels like the crowd were a mixed bag on the night and that, with a few more hardcore Aaron Chen fans present, the show could build to a crescendo. There is certainly something gloriously meta in his work that even makes you self-conscious while writing a review.
Aaron’s shtick is so perfect one wonders what amount of the awkward interactions and failed segues are preplanned or impromptu but in comedy all that matters is one simple truth – is it funny?
Aaron Chen is funny and with ‘Mr Cigarette’ he proves yet again he is one to watch and enjoy here at the Brisbane Comedy Festival and in the future.
Aaron Chen Tour Dates
25 February-1 March – Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane Comedy Festival)
26 March-19 April – The Victoria Hotel (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
9-10 May – Comedy Lounge (Perth Comedy Festival)
15 May – Enmore Theatre (Sydney Comedy Festival)