Swivel surprises

Dad. Joke. (Mark Swivel)

Judith Wright Centre, Shopfront

February 16 – 17

Surprisingly perhaps, comedian Mark Swivel’s “Dad. Joke.” contains only one deliberate dad joke, which might be a good thing for those who don’t particularly enjoy hearing the typically unfunny, corny offerings that this type of humour entails when usually displayed as part of special occasion speeches. Surprisingly too, is the substance behind the show’s ‘evidence-based musings’.

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Things are centred on a practical premise; Swivel is seeking advice in construction of a 21st birthday speech to his son. Gems of (mis)information follow as he not only reflects on life as a parent but memories of his own childhood experience. From politics to punctuation, pools and penis pumps, no topic is too random as he crafts together a very funny, but also surprisingly quite poignant show in its reflection of the nothingness moment of parenthood now passed.

Its appeal is not just for parents (conscious or otherwise) but anyone of that particularly generation who can recall waiting on lounge room beanbags for the Sunday night “Countdown” top ten or who can reflect amusingly on the idiosyncrasies of their own parents and upbringing or increasingly see their parents in themselves with every morning bathroom mirror look.

“Dad. Joke.” is a good-natured show of engaging anecdotes from an easy-to-listen-to presenter. Indeed, its relaxed pacing is refreshing as it takes audiences to the punchlines rather than rushing them in their faces. And while there is some limited audience interaction, if it is amiable and non-confrontation, meaning that even in the usual comedy front row centre danger seats, audience members can relax into the show’s surprising stories and the good time that ensues.

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