This show really should be called "Jeremy Elwood talks a lot of sense".
The ever acidic and permanently insightful Mr Elwood returns with a new target in his sights for his comedy show - the end of the world aka December 21, 2012.
And what a show Timebomb is.
Jeremy's always been the comic that makes a lot of salient points; the kind of person you'd probably be happy to lose an argument to because the debate was so, so good.
His new show takes a look back at the past 12 months - both globally and nationally - and forward to what future we have if the Mayans are to be believed.
But, along the way, he aims at pretty much everything and everyone and hits his targets time and time again.
Thoroughly researched sounds like the kind of praise you heap on an academic, but for Jeremy it's fully deserved - he's a scholarly comic who's erudite, intelligent and politically aware - and also someone who's going to look at life with a slightly cocked eye wondering what the heck is truly going on.
Occasionally skirting the boundaries between fine line and offensive, Jeremy gets away with it thanks to a relaxed attitude, calming presence and general nice guy feel to it all; sure, he takes aim at apathetic voters, tells us why he hates the phrase "Heartland New Zealand", why we need a gay All Black - all within the confines of the show.
He's got a great way with language, a smart touch for the clever (telling us all at one point that his show's "not offensive but deals with the concept of truth") and has a way of cocking a snook at the world around us. He's a rare beast; a comic who knows what he wants to say and how to say it without alienating everyone around him - the kind of guy you can have a good solid debate with but will still buy you a beer rather than dismiss you.
Above all though, in a tightly put together set, Jeremy really does knock it out of the park; this sardonic, sly, masterfully funny and smartly witty bloke is on fire on the stage and really, you have to make sure you see him while you can - because your mind will be as active throughout this show as your laughter is.
Without a shadow of a doubt, highly recommended for 2012.
Well, you know, before it ends on December 21st....
For this review of Jeremy Elwood's Time Bomb, I wish I could just write, “He's snarky, opinionated, and hilarious. Unless you're deeply religious – in which case, you'll hate all the swearing – go see him.” But that would be doing Elwood a disservice. He deserves more than that.
The premise of Time Bomb is to consider the coming – at least to the ancient Mayans – end of the world on 21 December 2012. Early in the show Elwood asks the audience what they think is more likely to cause the end of the world than a misunderstood Mayan prophesy.
His riffing from the list that audience members suggest either proves that everyone else has come up with those answers before or that he's fast on his feet. I'm guessing the latter.
The material is a blend of the topical (see his current events blog for TV3 for an example) and the personal. Nothing is safe, from the Rugby World Cup, through the Christchurch earthquakes, to the horrors of giving up smoking. New Zealand politics gets more than its fair share of attention, and organised religion – always an easy target – gets a delightfully fresh treatment.
While topical humour can quite easily turn into cheap shots at those in power, Elwood looks deeper, and is therefore funnier, than that. As a result, I often found myself laughing at his political jokes, even on the rare occasion that we sat on opposite sides of the political divide.
Elwood knows how to structure a joke and a set. There are moments of absolute levity – including a delightfully uproarious bit about a world religious leader's road trip – that contrast with moments of total (well, almost) seriousness.
For all his wit and cynicism, it is clear that Elwood has a considered point of view. It's a refreshing one, and presented with wit, clarity and panache, it makes Time Bomb a cracking night out.