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TJ McDonald

My Life Has Been A Series Of Poorly Made Decisions

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TJ McDonald presents a brand new hour of comedy!

This Billy T Award-nominated comedian will be bringing his trademark brand of smart, edgy humour to the stage as he reveals to you some of the stupidest, most hilarious decisions he has made in his life. Buy a ticket and laugh at his spectacular lack of judgement.

It’s ok… he wants you to.

Funny, astute and intelligent… I highly recommend you go." Theatreview.org.nz

 

Showing In:

Auckland Wellington

Dates:

Tue 15 May - Sat 19 May, 8:45pm

Venues:

The Basement Studio, Auckland

Tickets:

Adults $20.00
Conc. $18.00
Groups 6+ $18.00* service fees may apply

Bookings:

0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

Show Duration:

1 hour
 

Critics Review

John Smythe - Theatreview'"In his relaxed, casual, self-effacing yet quietly confident way, TJ McDonald delivers"'open/close
The Fringe Bar's stage is already dressed with three flip-pads as we wait for the show to start. The central one announces 'These Are The Things For Which I Shall Not Apologise' (denoting an impeccable education in English grammar, at least). This is an interesting contrast to his show's title: My Life Has Been a Series of Poorly Made Decisions.

Stage right features 'Life Lessons I Have Learnt' and stage left, 'Dad Jokes', with both lists hidden by removable strips. All very promising. And in his relaxed, casual, self-effacing yet quietly confident way, TJ McDonald delivers.

His warm-up beat almost comes unstuck when a "Where are you from?" elicits "Spain" and he has no rejoinder to that (isn't their economy sinking?). The whole girlfriend – current lack of – status is a recurring theme; always good for the sympathy vote.

TJ's '60s-style spectacles are offered as fair warning that his humour includes a "slightly dated sense of racism and sexism" – and again, he delivers, unapologetically, as also foreshadowed. A Roman Catholic education also, happily, makes God stuff and Pope jokes inevitable.

The four 'Dad jokes' interspersed through the hour are splendidly groan-worthy and have the added benefit of making his other material comparatively sophisticated.

As to his Life Lessons, it's what he does with each category that's insightfully funny, so I don't think it's a spoiler to reveal he covers his bad habits, his desire to be noticed, how religion made him a loser, his cowardice and – testing us on this one too – the question of whether or not he is a racist and what exactly that means.

With quips about the fortunes arising from becoming a full-time stand-up comedian, TJ draws to his climactic conclusion by [doing stuff I've been asked not to reveal].

His laid-back style is a welcome contrast to the high-energy, manic and/or angry dynamics others bring – quite validly – to their work, making the Fringe Bar an ideal venue for his show.
Tash McGill, Auckland Scene'"The most comprehensively well-crafted show I’ve seen this festival"'open/close
Relative newcomer TJ McDonald has only been a permanent fixture on the Auckland comedy scene for 18 months or so, but has been rocking the comedy circuit for a little bit longer – just long enough to be incredibly proficient at dealing with hecklers and mouthy audience members and just young enough to be nominated for a 2012 Billy T award.

Last night the former Wellingtonian delivered self-deprecating humour at it’s best in his show, “My Life Has Been A Series Of Poorly Made Decisions.” No element of performance was left unpolished with self-proclaimed “best music of the comedy festival” stings to introduce set piece comedy and brilliant opening credits.

TJ McDonald was the random show I picked out of a hat and I couldn’t have been more delighted – upfront with a signboard declaration of thing that wouldn’t be apologized for (check jokes regarding religion, butt jokes, pope jokes and racism), McDonald makes it easy to laugh at him and the absurd life choices that have resulted from poor judgement and bad taste. TJ McDonald couldn’t be more specific about how offensive he’s likely to be – thankfully he’s very egalitarian but treats everyone fairly in his contempt and derision. So long as you’re prepared to laugh at yourself, you’ll be fine.

There’s a lot to appreciate in his “lessons I have learned”, perhaps a clue to the poignant intelligence behind those curious glasses. Despite his assurances that Kiwi women don’t find bald men with his face attractive, he presents as a surprisingly captivating, dynamic and physical performer. Interactions with the audience were perfectly timed, even if the crowd interjections were not. He took it all in his stride, thus making the audience part of the show, complete with soundtrack cues (insert here “Dad Joke!”) for mad whooping and applause. The energy in the room was high and it didn’t feel like we’d wrapped an hour reviewing the decisions that led McDonald to a career in comedy.

The most comprehensively well-crafted show I’ve seen this festival (although I’m off to The Boy With Tape On His Face tonight) from opening, segues and wrapup, with a surprisingly literal “pull back and reveal” – you will love this show, laugh your head off and cringe at completely offensive but brilliant pokes at Kiwi culture.
Yvan Drake - 24 Days Of Giggles'"...kept the audience on their toes for the duration of the show..."'open/close
TJ McDonald is a 28 year old who has made a lot of mistakes in his time. I can relate. I’m a 23 year old, who’s also made a lot of mistakes. The difference is, while mine can cause me to fall into a death spiral of depression and tim tams, TJ McDonald has turned his into a Billy T Award nominated show that garners big laughs from the crowd.
The only show I know of without an actual band, that includes it’s own Theme Tune, this masterpiece of comedy is a brilliant piece of coming-of-age comedic genius causes the audience to look at and review themselves, bringing topics to the fore, such as racism, and dad jokes, and making the audience confront their true feelings on such topics.
I was unsure what to expect, coming into this show, in a venue I’d not been in before, but the blocked-up-with-cold act managed to distract everyone from that, and take them into the world that is his life. With flip-cards, and almost a choose-your-own adventure tendency, this show kept the audience on their toes for the duration of the show.
If this is the same calibre that every other Billy T nominee this year, I am suddenly very glad that I am not on the judging panel!

User reviews

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Josh
Saw TJ's show in Wellington and was blown away. Really good show - smiles and laughs the whole way through. Don't want to give much away, the title of the show says it all. I would recommend this show to everyone. TJ is a great comedian - You wont be disappointed!
native sista
OFFENSIVE MUCH! Bring it TJ. crack up fulla...
Liz
Best use of giant Post-it notes that I have ever seen. Don't miss TJ's show!
Mikey
TJ is a racist, sexist prick. But funny as hell.
Kat
Brilliant show. TJ's relaxed style draws the audience in and his intelligent witty jokes hit the mark pretty much every time. There is something to offend and delight everyone. An abundance of talent, character and confidence. A winner.
Matthew Smithies
A great performance with a good level of originality and diverse subjects. Very witty and energetic performance! Not just a bag of stones.
Dave M
TJ's Show was one of the best local hours I've seen at the Comedy festival over the years. His ability to intellectualise and articulate even the most facile of subjects results in 60 minutes of the most educational comedy you are likely to see. If your into laughing at a comedy show 'My Life has been a series of Poorly Made Decisions' is the show for you.
Joe
Went to the show last night and had a blast! As a long time supporter of comedy in Wellington, it was great to see how polished TJ's material has become, and my only complaint is he had to move to Auckland to make the switch to full-time comic. This is my pick of the festival so far!
Ranj
My partner and I enjoyed TJ's show. It was very well structured but had nice random bits and audience involvement. A good rapport and a fun time - nothing is sacred !
Dave M
TJ's Show was one of the best local hours I've seen at the Comedy festival over the years. His ability to intellectualise and articulate even the most facile of subjects results in 60 minutes of the most educational comedy you are likely to see. If your into laughing at a comedy show 'My Life has been a series of Poorly Made Decisions' is the show for you.