Anna Murray - Yahoo! NZ'Being particularly gifted at painting a mental picture, he kept his audience laughing throughout – and you can't ask for much more than that.'open/close
Considering we see Australian comedian Tom Gleeson on our TV screens semi-regularly as part of TV3's '7 Days', it may come as a surprise that this year is his first at the NZ International Comedy Festival. (He's been too busy performing in countries that pay actual currency, apparently.)
Gleeson kicked off his first Auckland show last night by asking a couple of young men at the front of the audience a few questions about what they do, saying he wanted to prove he could, in fact, ad-lib.
After that, he pretty much left the audience alone and launched into stories about life as a married man with a one-year-old daughter, because being married with kids usually does provide good comedy fodder.
Being Australian, he also poked fun at Kiwis and our not-so-recent Rugby World Cup win, before relaying tales of dealing with an airline representative and taking this baby girl for her three-month innoculations – with both of those stories being particular highlights of his hour-long act.
With his dry, sarcastic wit, Gleeson's comedy act is good, solid stand-up. Being particularly gifted at painting a mental picture, he kept his audience laughing throughout – and you can't ask for much more than that.
Tom Gleeson is the Everyman of comedians.
By his own admission, he easily could be mistaken for an accountant with his balding head, pale complexion and jeans-and-sports-jacket dress sense.
For his first ever Trans-Tasman gig (because he had been "too busy performing shows in countries with economic growth") the Australian kicked off with a little audience familiarisation.
After teasing the sports journalists and corporate lawyers sitting at his feet, he reminded the crowd of the self-deprecating nature of the Kiwi.
Gleeson took great delight in pointing out that even the ATMs in New Zealand disperse unconfident denominations, while machines across the ditch fire $50 notes out haphazardly to eager hands.
He then got into the guts of his show taking the crowd through the paces of his iMagined future of the iWorld, the contradictions of parenthood and his own rebellion against authority.
Apparently his insubordinate nature will cause him to manhandle buns at the supermarket as opposed to using tongs - a matter between him and his "bunhole" and nobody damn else.
The routine had the packed audience chuckling throughout but there were only a few gags that inspired true belly laughs.
During his performance Gleeson occasionally teetered off the edge and launched into a yelling fit before roping it in, finishing his vignette and then beginning another one.
There is no one common thread to tie these accounts together, but they stand as a collection of insights into the man.
Things to be learnt about Gleeson include: he is admirably anti-homophobic, he likes a good massage and he wants you to yell back.
Near to the end of his inaugral show, Gleeson earnestly asked the audience for any feedback on his routine.
He urges the hushed crowd by saying "Tell me now, I don't want to see on Twitter or Facebook tomorrow that you think I'm an a**hole."
Not one bashful Kiwi crowd member was brave enough to take Gleeson up on his heckling offer so he'll no doubt be trawling Twitter for the rest of the week.
Aussie Tom Gleeson was potentially the star of the night. Opening with riffs on how he's joined the techno age and been taken in by Apple products before gleefully (and perhaps truthfully) suggesting what direction Steve Jobs' company could end up taking, he was on fire from the very beginning. A rambling, raucous and deeply amusing piece about a massage finished his all too brief time on stage. I think, based on 10 minutes in this show, you'd be a fool to miss his solo outing.
It's hard to believe that this is Tom Gleeson’s debut at the festival as he has been a familiar face on our televisions from his regular appearances on TV3′s 7Days. After the hour, he proves that he can completely hold his own and is an excellent comedian in his own right.
Being an Australian comic, it is not surprising at all when he starts poking fun at New Zealand. Calling us a self-deprecating and simultaneously progressive yet backward nation, he subsequently justifies this by saying that unlike other comics, he doesn’t do New Zealand jokes back home but saves them up so he can do it to our faces.
It is in this audacious and brash fashion that Tom delivers his hour-long set to us and boy does he do it so very well! His material ranges from both reminiscing and griping about technology (“iCloud backs up your shame” – genius) to hilarious examples of how fatherhood has caused him to see things, like strippers, in a different light.
Each gag and every joke is brilliantly set up and superbly told with some truly remarkable punchlines that will alter your perspective on the most ordinary things – like bread rolls and why you should never pick a mirror up from the floor. He tells us he is a rule-breaker in real life and this rings true in his stand up routine as well.
Tom himself said it best – he is an acquired taste. But his crass, in-your-face style of comedy is genuinely funny and wildly entertaining. A top notch hour of stand up that I would definitely recommend.
One of our picks of the week for NZ International Comedy Festival, Tom Gleeson, begun his run at The Classic on Monday. He left us feeling secure we had picked a good ‘un. Already a favourite on our screens this is a great opportunity to see the man at his best, on stage in a comedy club.
This Australian comic covers everything from homophobia, relationships and fatherhood as well as having a good old poke at us Kiwis. Don’t get him started on made up rules or supermarket tongs!
A very enjoyable comedian to watch, the laughs just rolled out as every anecdote was gold. His observations were brilliantly ridiculous and he teased the audience with truth verses fiction during a ‘massage gone too far’ story.’
If you saw him on the Comedy Gala you would have seen the hugely entertaining iPhone generation bit which is a great example of Gleeson’s comedy. A Confident performer with relatable, clever and well constructed material.
Tom Gleeson is a craftsman of comedy and one not to be missed at this festival!
How refreshing to have an Australian stand-up comedian strut on stage and bag us Kiwis ruthlessly, to our face, rather than the expected and much safer ANZAC-induced suck-up to get on-side. Are we really bogan yet progressive, polite yet self-deprecating? Yeah, nah, 'spose we are. Fair call.
Brutal and punishing in his honest approach to everything, Tom Gleeson is a brave and invigorating comic. With subject matter and stories ranging from photos from the pre-digital age; our obsession with the RWC; becoming a parent; strippers; immunisation; religion; call centre operator's customer interface; massage; homosexuality; sandwiches….
Tom Gleeson's comic recipe is made up of an inherent disregard for authority mixed with a good dose of crass, a touch of sensitivity, a dash of mean and a truckload of astute insight. It's a brilliant comic formula; I laughed a lot and smiled throughout.
Even his iPhone routine – which I heard at this year's Gala – is bloody funny repeated in the context of his full show. What I wrote then, I endorse, so here's my repeat:“Top Australian comedian, familiar to Kiwi audiences through TV3's 7Days, Tom Gleeson … opens the night with a hilarious download on iPhone 5, iCloud and other Apple iHype – iLike.”
Not content to be just a master of storytelling and embellishment, Gleeson adds an interesting twist to the massage yarn, as he smashes through the stand up comedy show version of the ‘4th wall', deconstructing the story's creation, reminding us what comics do to build up and manipulate a tale. A very flippant yet clever peek into ‘comedy writing 101'.
He's so confident, he even asks for feedback… We're so polite and satisfied, we give him nothing but a smile and an invisible thumbs up. Yup, he's got our bulk-standard average yet complex Kiwi-psyche nailed perfectly.
Keen to show us he can also ad lib, Gleeson takes pleasure in some front-row banter at the top of the night, which brings out a more conversational, gentle Tom. I love the way he acknowledges and thanks those he chatted to (corporate lawyer guy, whose name I didn't catch, and Guy the radio sport journalist), off-mic, just before he leaves the stage. Under all that cocky bravado, I'm not surprised the see he's also polite and courteous.
Highly recommended for those who love to cut their comedy with merciless truth.
NOT EVERY comedian can weave on-the-fly references to Harold Holt with the Petrov affair and still get a laugh, but Tom Gleeson can - his audience is so broad. Gleeson's material is so wide, so whip-smart and so gobsmackingly shocking at times that all tastes are catered for. His analysis of Princess Mary drew quite a few gasps but his demolition of our obsession with bullying was equally surprising. His take on the Bali drug boy saga was inspired and a touching but still funny paean to his mother's humour added some dappled shade among the white-hot gags.
Gleeson is at the top of his game and so is his surprise guest for whom I award the half-star.