Herald Sun - Switched On - - Saturday -

THERE are three rules when it comes to com­edy. This is ac­cord­ing to the course taught by Rob McHugh. 1. Com­edy’s hard and lonely and vi­cious.

This is what Will Fer­rell says any­way. Ap­par­ently. This re­minds me of that old Woody Allen joke at the start of An­nie Hall, where the two women are at a Catskill moun­tain re­sort and one of them is com­plain­ing about how bad the food is, and the other one goes, yeah, and such small por­tions.

2. Com­edy al­ways needs a vic­tim. Rob McHugh fas­tens a bib around his neck at this point and oh look, that’s a creamy­look­ing pie there on the desk, and for some rea­son the 10 or so peo­ple sit­ting in front of him start get­ting a bit squirmy in their seat, I don’t know why, the guy’s wear­ing a bib, any­one can see he’s go­ing to be the one get­ting the pie in the face.

3. Truth plus pain equals com­edy. So there you have it. Make us laugh now please.

Com­edy School, I have to say, is kind of hard work. And we haven’t even had to watch them tell jokes yet. Grad­u­a­tion day, when they have to do seven min­utes on stage at the Com­edy Store in Syd­ney, will be when the fun starts. Yeah, the last episode.

Rob McHugh’s class meets on a Satur­day morn­ing at the East­ern Sub­urbs Com­mer­cial Col­lege in Bondi for the ex-

Hoot: Austen Tayshus press pur­pose of learn­ing how to be funny. Do I ac­tu­ally want to watch adults in a school room en­vi­ron­ment?

The stand­out per­former is also the class loon, a guy called Richard Irvine. I hope he stays with it. He seems thin skinned though, and sen­si­tive.

Qual­i­ties you need and yet so don’t need in a stand-up comic. Austen Tayshus has in­cred­i­bly height­ened senses. Or seems to, I don’t know him from Adam. But as one of the stu­dents who is an­ni­hi­lated by him from the stage tonight re­marks, he can just smell it.

How did it come to this? They thought they were just go­ing to see his show at Syd­ney’s Laugh Garage but their ex­cite­ment turned to fear and panic when they found them­selves draw­ing straws to see who had to heckle him. Com­edy School SBS One, 9.45pm

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