Melbourne Comedy Festival – April 11, 2012
Dave Gorman tries hard. In fact, he tries very hard. No, Dave Gorman actually tries too damn hard. Prowling the stage while spewing a scatter-gun monologue about inane aspects of contemporary culture, he tries his best to connect with an audience that numbers, by his own estimation, approximately 500. The majority of the assembled throng appears mildly engaged by Dave’s Shtick, but I sense that he’s somehow missed the mark, and his struggle to win them over occasionally becomes visible through hairline cracks that threaten to mar his well-rehearsed routine — a teeth-clenching smile here, an involuntary grimace there.
Dave’s PowerPoint Presentation comprises of a series of vaguely amusing anecdotes about misinformation and misunderstandings in the age of the Internet. He does a good line in self-deprecating humour, and does his best to present himself as an affable, all-round nice guy. The PowerPoint conceit, however, is thin, and only occasionally enhances his material. Early in the proceedings he points out that he’s ‘punching above his weight’ in his love life — Dave, you see, is a fairly ordinary looking chap, but he’s managed to convince a fairly attractive women to marry him. He charts this physiognomic disparity on a graph, which parodies the style of corporate presentations. He uses PowerPoint as an old-fashioned slide projector with the capacity for creating animations and transitions. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but his observations about mobile phone advertising, and his routine about being regularly mistaken for Jewish are a little too twee to add up to anything approaching more than mild diversion.
But, boy, does Dave Gorman work hard. He pulls out all stops to make sure the audience’s attention doesn’t wander. He makes sustained eye contact with the audience, and even tells someone to stop taking photographs. Another hapless spectator is admonished for looking at his mobile phone (‘how rude,’ observes Dave). His act sounds as though it’s been committed to memory. Dave doesn’t miss a beat. The patter flows without pause, or discernible blunders. This is a very theatrical performance — it’s tightly rehearsed, and delivered with impeccable modulation. Maybe Dave Gorman is just a very, very articulate chap. Unfortunately, he comes over as a slightly pompous, disingenuous, middle-of-the road comic whose observational humour can’t evoke deep belly laughs. The best comedians, in my view, either have buckets load of attitude coupled with funny but profound insights into life’s absurdities, or they just look so dorky that you can’t help laughing out loud (take a bow Jim Parsons). Dave just doesn’t do it for me, and I’ve seen more compelling and entertaining PowerPoint presentations in my time.
So, this is shit I don’t like.
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