MICF: Rich Hall 3:10 to Humour review

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Stories about jetlag have a single comedic purpose and this is not to provoke an immediate laugh. Rather, pseudo-jokes of the If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium type exist to excuse the possible lack of future laughter. You’ve heard the disclaimer before: I’m tired so don’t expect me to be funny. And, if I am, you can be pleasantly surprised.

Rich Hall, who has been much more than pleasantly surprising over his long career, offers us this formal caution about his weariness from flying and doesn’t really ascend from there. In a set of just 50 minutes, he goes almost nowhere at a cracking pace and this busy stasis is assured by a room over-full with hecklers who have raided the bar and learned that their comic is vulnerable. I’m all for freedom of expression but John the Digital Expert from London can truly fuck off to a locked box from which he shall not emerge until he learns to shut up during a bit.

It may be the case that Hall had a well-written show but if he did, it was soon abandoned to the nervous sport of arguing with the really drunk guy. Then, with all the other really drunk guys who could smell their travel-weary prey, even through the stink of bourbon with coke. Oh, god it was tedious and awful.

Hall, let it be plainly said, is one funny bugger and he managed to drag the room back from attack with some of his wonderful songs. But, he lost it again with an ill-advised combination of jokes that all had the vulnerable — mobile home dwellers and short-statured people — as their target. Punching up is the correct defensive posture for a comedian losing his battle. A night of punching down made Hall look, a bit like John from London did, a loser.

Perhaps before Hall boards his next flight, he’ll pull a good set in Melbourne. The man can be very, very good and if you’re a passenger not averse to risk, you could be rewarded with take-off.

Rich Hall 3:10 to Humour is at Melbourne Town Hall until April 19

4 responses to “MICF: Rich Hall 3:10 to Humour review

  1. We saw Rich Hall on Monday night and he was fantastic. No hecklers. Pity they can’t throw those idiots out on their ear.

    1. This is good to know, Chris. He really is most often marvellous. I think the combination of the jetlag with the savage heckling ruined the marvel last Friday. I am so happy to learn he sprang back into shape.

  2. Was this the Friday night show or is the drunk guy a regular that Rich has employed? I was in the row behind those 2 morons. Iowa …… Iowa …. Iowa.

    I quite liked Rich, thought his songs we very funny. My brother couldn’t stop laughing, but he had come all the way from Mandurah and doesn’t get out that often.

    Have seen Rich better than this, but I thought the Bob Dylan impersonation was on the mark.

    1. Yes, Friday. And absolutely, Johno to the Bob Dylan thing, which happened in the last five minutes of the show. It was glorious. I laughed hard at the harmonica solo.
      But this doesn’t excuse a performance that was otherwise middling.
      As for your bro from Mandurah: I understand people out for a night are prepared to enjoy everything. I, however, am just prepared to write a review. And I think you and I agree that this was Rich Hall almost at his worst. He invited heckles with his unplanned vulnerability and he got ’em.
      I’ll go and see him next time, though. They guy is largely a pro. Just not last Friday.

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