It's the "backward man, the backward man," Mr. Freddy Got Fingered in Auckland for this year's Comedy Fest, Tom Green.
Green lurched on stage to an excitable mob, at times shouting, wobbling, glaring, picking on victims in the audience. His persona and opinions seem unchanged in the last 20 years, covering everything from what's wrong with the U.S.A. , the youth of today to the important chair beer balancing issues.
What became apparent half way through was that the audience here were die hard Tom Green fans, shouting out requests for pieces from his 1995, critically slammed, publicly loved, self-produced movie, and now cult classic, Freddy Got Fingered. He had to call a time-out on interjections, only to do a crowd controlled medley of anything the audience could throw at him at the end of his set.
It was like a rock show.
He finished with a challenge to audience: "Name me one line from the English Patient", no response, case closed.
Tom Green plays this Friday at Sky City. Get along!
Tom Green’s show was like no other comedy gig I have attended. With non-stop (positive) “heckling” from the crowd, it definitely felt more like a Freddy Got Fingered catchphrases and appreciation night than anything else.
While his film roles and MTV show precedes him, Tom is a skilled and superb stand up comedian in his own right. His unique brand of “shock humor” sits well with a Kiwi audience as does his cynical but comical thoughts on many things, like getting high on twink (the old school kind that came with a brush) and my personal favorite of the night – the discovery that there is no cheese in Chinese food.
Tom’s comedic style is edgy and “in your face” but not overly reproachful – put simply, he’s just bloody entertaining! His material is made up of intelligently written one liners that sit in snappy scenarios rather than long drawn out anecdotes which means a lot is covered within the hour.
What I particularly enjoyed was his brilliant delivery of some really engaging social commentary which he incorporates seamlessly in to his set. His thoughts on what if suicide was made to be illegal and how we reward bad behavior by “failing upwards” not only rouses much deserved laughs but is surprisingly insightful.
Judging by the popularity of his show and the exuberant vocal nature of the crowd, his arrival on our shores has been long overdue. Let’s hope he returns for an encore.
WHAT kind of a world are we living in when people are actually screaming for lines from Freddy Got Fingered, one of the worst films ever made?
That would be Tom Green’s world. The Canadian, ahem, film star and MTV comic is in town to party (the verb) and his adoring, boisterous Gen Y crowd are doing their best to help out, even fetching beers on request.
Green also wonders what kind of a world we’re living in.
Like a growing number of comics entering their 40s and playing to younger audiences, he finds good material in lecturing the kids how life used to be before Facebook, mobile phones and the internet came to dominate Gen Y social interaction.
This yearning for simpler, more innocent times yields some nice material about being back in school: clumpy Liquid Paper; the pointlessness of the compass.
Elsewhere Green tries on some mild political humour about global homogenisation, but the most political he really gets is a jowl-wobbling Richard Nixon impression.
Mostly though, Green’s bits tend towards the crass (and unprintable), which naturally his fans eat up.
An endearing, rock ‘n’ roll style comic, Green actually works damn hard to hold our attention, often crouching at stage’s edge to ram home his gags or engage the front rows. I laughed a lot.
The Invitation: I was pleasantly surprised with an invitation to see Tom Green’s live stand up comedy located at Auckland’s Skycity Theater on Wednesday night. The invitation came to me suddenly and unexpected which meant that I was not prepared in knowledge, perspective and direction to write this review. In desperation I found myself illegally parked (in front of a school) and staring blankly into space (probably at some freaked out students) seeing if I had any recollection of this guy. All I came up with was a faint memory of a young Tom Green in a chick flick I saw eons ago and a lot of images of him with animals for some strange reason. But since I had a blank slate I decided to attend this show with nothing in mind, just to see what he is about.
The Comedy: Often I see comedians on television hop on stage with loud applause and a general “thank you, glad to be here”. You see them wait out the applause humbly or snuff it out with some tongue and cheek comment while poking fun at a few members of the audience. Not Tom Green, lets say that the introduction to the show was somewhat a loud rallying from one guy, kinda like a one man rock band. Nothing wrong with that, he surely knew how to work his audience. As he worked his magic over the cheering crowd I couldn’t help but think “wow, he looks nothing like what I recall at all, does he have more white hairs or is the lighting washing him out? And MAN this lighting is hurtfully intense..”.
The Opinion: If you were expecting me to say that I was laughing my butt off from beginning to end, I would say not quite. A way to describe his show would be entertainingly course and impromptu like, he had a way to say things that most Kiwis would dare just think about. After a good five to ten minutes into the show I warmed up to his humour, he would have loud outbursts that would send shock waves through the ears but still have the crowd roaring. In all I say I was quite entertained in this show, his view on social media, cultural foods, strange sexual encounters is a must hear. However, I feel that you should know more of his television and movie presence and personality to get a lot of his jokes and references, but other than that, I was very much entertained.