Canadian comedian Marty Putz returns to the Melbourne Comedy Festival after a ten year sortie into producing and writing television. His show, The Very Weird and Slightly Dangerous is an all ages affair, but it still retains its edge, “I think we all like that rush of something that tends to make you feel just a little dangerous, whether it’s the first time we get on a bike, or the first time we ride a skateboard. For me my hero was Evel Knievel growing up, so a lot of the dangerous elements I kind of see myself that way a little bit, and the weird, I’ve always loved weird things, I’ve always loved magic… magic was always weird to me. I loved the sideshow freaks at circuses and quirky inventors and anything that was slightly odd.”
The Comedy Festival loves its family-friendly comedy as a way of getting laughs to as many people as possible. “I like to call the evening shows ‘Simpsons-friendly’… there’s a little bit of edge that would go over the heads of kids, for the adults, there’s a lot actually, and the afternoon show is really geared towards, you know, full-on family and kids.” These afternoon sessions will be concentrated over the school holidays, so that everyone can witness the gadgets and inventions Putz is going to bring to his comedic visual weirdness.
Comedy came to Putz as, literally, an accident. “I loved magic as a kid, and I was a really bad magician… I had things go horribly wrong, like I dropped the rabbit… and people laughed, and rather than be upset about it I kind of just fed off it and proceeded to muck everything else up purposely, and that’s when I heard the laughter, that was it.” These early days have grown into full-blown spectacular, with flying hamsters, exploding suits, weird inventions and huge marshmallow fights making up the show.
“We’re locked away in a secret location where right now I’m working on all the pneumatic fittings to try and get some of this stuff going. I’m excited to go into the Spiegeltent, and I think it lends itself to my show because it’s kind of a new vaudeville vibe to it… and I think there’s this great sense of ‘What happens in the tent stays in the tent’.” His enthusiasm beyond the Spiegeltent, for touring Australia and New Zealand is palpable. “I love this part of the world, everything about it… there’s a nice sense of reckless opportunity here as a performer. I find Australian audiences welcome strange and creative people who are willing to step on the edge to try something different… it’s just fantastic.” And his love of Australian and New Zealand performers is just as enthusiastic.
“I haven’t really sat down to decide what I want to see, but I remember Fleety, Greg Fleet I always enjoy. I pretty much want to see anyone that’s not North American just to get a taste and a flavour of what’s going on in this part of the world. And the Umbilical Brothers are great, and I always loved loved loved Lano and Woodley, and I know each of them has a show going now too so I sure would love to see both of them. They were fantastic.”
Venue: The Famous Spiegeltent at Federation Square
Dates: 27 March – 6 April (not Mondays) at 7pm (Sun 6pm), 8 April – 19 April (not Mon, Fri & Sun) at 2.30pm (Sat 5.30pm) Previews 27 Mar – 30 Mar
Tickets: $15 – $28
Published as part of the Beat – Melbourne Comedy Festival Lift Out