FRINGE – Tom Ballard – Rhino Room – 4K

It is pleasing that amidst the great cynicism about the interest of Australia’ s youth in national affairs, there is one 22 year old who not only gets off on politics but is also very funny about it. Not that events of recent days (or months for that matter) on the national stage do not offer every household hours of laugh out loud material every night, but Tom Ballard, JJJ star etc, is that man and he is great.

The trick to good political humour is to go into subjects of interest without raising the hackles of some portion of their audience to the point where they think you some loud mouth, snotty nosed jerk who wouldn’t know if his arse is on fire. Because then, bit by bit, you quickly alientate everyone. Again (for the most part – see later) Ballard has that knack.

As Tom pointed out, Kevin 07 in hindsight was all terribly silly and now something one doesn’t want to much talk about. But when you can combine great jokes about that, Tim Allen, Ocean’s 12 and the last gasps of the western black rhino you know you have an artist who can get you to suppress their prejudices and lift the air. Being present for the intellectual muscle of our own Occupy Adelaide movement last year meant Tom could round off a great first 45 minutes.

Of course, there is one subject that is dear to his heart, gay marriage, and although Ballard kept it relatively breezy his choice of his last two jokes would probably have played better to an Oxford St nightclub crowd than the rather broader cross section of the community that ventured to the Rhino Room last night.

Still, who am I from the 9th row to pass harsh judgment on a bad choice or two? Having seen Ballard at Feast eighteen months ago, it is clear this young comedian is only getting better, with an intellectual quotient to his humour that seriously raises him above the standard stand up comedian. Embrace Tom while he is here.

Kryztoff Rating  4K

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