For Jesse's debut solo comedy show, it was into the Classic Studio we filed - and to a sign on the stage saying "You'll find out what this is a bit later", which ended up setting the tone for an inquisitive night ahead.
At the start of his act, Jesse Griffin introduced himself on the PA - as "our support and the headline act" before making his way to the stage and beginning right from the very start - with the big bang and everything that's followed it.
From there, a rambling stream of consciousness extolled how we'd got to this stage (things like - "chicken, egg or maybe egg, chicken" - and how chance had led us to Jesse, our leader, a task he was was willing to step upto.
It's an interesting night with Jesse - a lot of wordplay and deadpan dry moments, which you really need to make sure you're paying attention to to get the maximum return from what he's saying. This self professed "Ginger nut" had a lightly mocking tone which belied some quick thinking and smart seeding of payoffs early on which came to fruition later on. Plus I loved the clever use of stationery in one set of gags.
It's actually hard to define fully what this show was about; loosely it was autobiographical, taking in his time in Dunedin and life up in Auckland as well as relating an incident with the police. But there's a bit required from the crowd as well as Jesse selects three members of the audience to fill in his survey questionnaire (sample question: "On a scale of 1 to 10, tell us how you feel about 11"), there's a genuine impish pleasure in revelling in the absurdity of language, the ambivalence of meaning and a large serving of very, very dry smart humour.
A selection of graphs (whoever thought you'd come to a comedy show to look at graphs?) proved to be a very sly nod and a wink to those investing in intellect into the proceedings.
That's the thing with Jesse's humour - it's quietly delivered, super-smart throughout and will need your investment in the set ups for the ultimate pay-offs. With a glint of something a little devilish twinkling behind his eyes, I was very happy to follow Jesse as a leader - hopefully you'll feel the same as one of the quirkiest, and most different of the festival shows continues.