DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
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