Punchline Magazine’s dispataches from Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival, part 2

Melbourne International Comedy FestivalOn our first full day in Melbourne, my husband Christian Finnegan and fellow comedian Nick Thune made an appearance on the radio where they ran into Aussie hunk Ash Williams. “How is it being the ‘God of Thunder’?” Christian asked. Ash simply smiled, the joke seemingly lost in his dreamy looks. Nick was so taken by Ash’s good looks he needed convincing that Ash was a DJ and not an actor portraying a DJ for a soap opera.

Once radio ended, we headed outside where we saw a stalled car in an intersection facing the wrong way. “Let’s go push her,” I suggested. Nick gamely agreed and like the good Americans we are, we offered assistance. She didn’t seem to know that for it to work the car needed to be in neutral and she needed to push in the clutch, so she definitely didn’t know how to pop it.

We walked away feeling like heroes – never mind that her car was still not working. At least she was out of harm’s way…we hope.

For my comedy viewing pleasure, I went to see Tim Vine’s Joke-Amotive. I chose to see him after seeing the beaming smiles of Todd Barry & Nick Thune who had just left his show. “You gotta go check him out,” Barry insisted. “It’s him doing an hour of one-liners and puns.” That sounds awful, right? Todd & Nick begged to differ. Christian & I took our seats and who walks in but Todd Barry ready to watch the show a second time. Fast paced and completely committed to each gag, Vine had us rolling.

Occasionally his accent or use of British English slang would throw us, but no worries. There were another dozen jokes quickly following to delight. It’s almost impossible to translate in print silly jokes like, “What’s this for?” as Vine lifted a giant number #4 out of a bag. Trust me, we laughed like kindergartners whose teacher just farted. Silly, but gusting fun.

One after another after another the jokes came periodically broken up with goofy songs. My favorite Vine joke of the night: “My father told me I could be anything I wanted. ‘The sky’s the limit!’ Which made me sad because I wanted to be an astronaut.” If told by your boss in the conference room, you might groan. But when delivered with the unapologetic, winning personality of Vine, you’ll be laughing out loud.

Random fact: Apparently toads are so pesky, Australians beat them to death with golf clubs and bats, a practice known as “Toad Whacking”. Obviously toads aren’t as cute as baby seals as I don’t recall PETA making sad videos of maimed toads scored with a sappy Sarah McLachlan song.

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