Headliners

Headliners showcases the best in up-and-coming talent coming out of the America’s gruelling comedy circuit.  There’s a wide range of comedians on offer, playing on a rotating bill throughout the festival. This all goes down at the Hi-Fi bar with acts including Moshe Kasher, Tom Segura, Sean Patton, Matt Braunger, Hannibal Buress, Marina Franklin and Garfunkel & Oates.


Out of the swathe of
Headliners acts I spoke to Moshe Kasher, the Californian comedian who was named Best New Comic of the Year by iTunes for his album Everyone You Know Is Going To Die And Then You Are. I asked if he had plans for Australia: “I’ve been here before. Both in actuality and in my imagination via the movies Australia and Crocodile Dundee so I knew exactly what Australia was like before I got here. While here I plan on going into the ‘outback’ on ‘walkabout’  and going ‘croc hunting’. Also I will be playing ‘didgeridoo’ whilst eating a ‘vegimite sandwich’. Also I will be snorting ‘cocaine’ off of a ‘stripper’s tits’.” Indeed.


His particular brand of hipster vitriol was named Best Of The Festival at Montreal’s Just For Laughs, Jamie Foxx’s Laffapalooza and the Aspen’s Rooftop Comedy Festival. Asked to describe his comedic background, Kasher replies obliquely: “I am a trained ninja assassin. That’s all I’m willing to say,” but when pressed goes on to add: “I am an angry effeminate Jew who likes girls.” Definitely angry. In fact, when asked about this anger and his propensity towards the offensive in his comedy, he replies simply: “Suck my dick.” This is going well.


On to safer territory, Kasher gives his picks for the festival: “You have so many stand-outs… Arj [Barker] is an old friend but you guys seem to have heard of him already. Marc Maron, Paul F. Tompkins and Maria Bamford are amazing Americans. I mean each one is a unique genius. Greg Proops is a master.”


Moving on to the lineup as part of Headliners, Moshe reels them off: “Of the younger bucks, Tom Segura, Hannibal Burress, Matt Braunger, Garfunkel & Oates, Sean Patton and the impeccable gentleman, Bo Burnham are all unmissable.”


Twee musical comedy-folk duo Garfunkel & Oates have definitely made a splash over the past couple of years, appealing to the indie crowd with their Youtube releases such as Fuck You (featured on US sitcom Scrubs), Sex With Ducks, and a personal favourite, Pregnant Women Are Smug (lyrics include: You’re just giving birth now/You’re not Mother Earth now), showing themselves to have equal stakes in the cutesy folk song and the potty-mouthed ballad.


Kasher isn’t the cleanest comedian either, as he has hinted at before. His tagline is a close indication of this: Comedian. Jew. Jew Comedian. OBGYN.


OBGYN? “Well I never got my official OBGYN paperwork so at this point, I’d say I’m more of an amateur enthusiast.”
And finally the big question, would you rather not wash your towel for three months, or your bedsheets for three months?Trick question, as I use towels as sheets and curtains as underwear. I smoke crack.”

Moshe Kasher, Sean Patton, Hannibal Buress, Tom Segura, Matt Braunger, Marina Franklin and Garfunkel & Oates perform Headliners at The Hi-Fi from March 31 – April 3 and at Melbourne Town Hall from April 5 – April 24. Tickets are $23.50 – $31.50 and available through Ticketmaster online, 1300 660 013 and at the door.

View the original article here: http://www.beat.com.au/comedy-festival/2011/03/30/headliners/america-s-gruelling-comedy-angry-effeminate-jew-aspen-s-rooftop-comedy-comedian-comedy-cen

Eddie Ifft

Eddie Ifft is back in Melbourne for the Comedy Festival. To pass the rigorous Festival entrance exam, he answered a few questions for Beat.

Tell us about your upcoming show for the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

This year’s show [his second] is about not keeping my big mouth shut. It’s called Things I Shouldn’t Have Said and it’s a compilation of jokes and stories that I have said over the years that have had me banned from radio and TV, fired from jobs, even thrown in jail a few times. 

What thing/person/idea are you most obsessed with at this time? 

Crossfit. It’s kind of a workout cult I am in, that all the military special forces do.. After 14 years of touring, partying and destroying my body, I have decided to clean it up… I still party a little. I got really drunk in Vegas recently, so drunk that I walked out of a nightclub at 5am and people were going to the Las Vegas Marathon. On a bet with my friends, I ended up changing my clothes and running the race on no sleep and 10 vodkas.

Which city has been your favourite to play at (apart from Melbourne)?

I played a place called Prominent Hill. It wasn’t really a city but a makeshift gold mining town in the bush. It was really different for me. If you blind folded me and took me there and told me that we were on Mars, I would have believed you.

A lot of comedians from the USA have had an easier trot these past few years in terms of available source material for them to make fun of.  Does the current political climate in the US mean that you have more, or less comedy fodder?

George Bush made it really easy for a while. There was a reprieve for a while with Obama, but as… the hype around Obama has died down, people have started to realise that it isn’t the politician, but the system … My country and our celebrity culture never cease to amaze me either. We have more people on death row than any other country, but yet we have a whale that is responsible for three deaths at Sea World and he is probably doing back flips for the crowd right now…. It’s not the whale’s fault either. You put me in a swimming pool and make me synchronize swim with a ball on my nose, for fat dumb people, I’d want to drown someone too.

Are you a Winter Olympics fan?

I can’t believe some of the events. The Skeleton? What is that? It’s the event, where they luge downhill on their stomach, head first. These people get to go to the Olympics and call themselves Olympians. I mean good for them, but I don’t remember skeleton tryouts in high school… I’m pretty sure everyone that tries out makes the squad, because there are probably only three people in the country that even do the sport.

Beat Magazine, Issue #1210, March 24th, 2010

Dead Cat Bounce

Dead Cat Bounce – the musical comedy band from Dublin – are making all kinds of waves during their trip to Australia. Call him a trooper, I spoke to bassist Shane the day after the group discovered all the gear from their Adelaide venue had been stolen ten minutes before they were due to go on. “I’ve spent the day getting new equipment and filling in police reports so this is a bit of a break,” he told me over the phone. 

Is this your first time in Australia?

“I was here once back when I was ten, but this is the first time we have the opportunity to really explore the place, and we’ve been reading up. I don’t know if you’ve seen photos of Damien [drums], but he’s the most ginger man you’ve seen in your life, he burns instantly. Luckily it’s been pretty overcast lately.”

Despite a string of sell out shows, their trip seems to have formed a pattern in terms of luck; “Yesterday I woke up with a huntsman beside my face.”

Any other encounters with wildlife? “We went to one of those wildlife parks, and we saw this emu running around, kicking the kangaroos and chasing people. As we were leaving we said to one of the keepers, you know, ‘Should you really have that emu running around like that? It’s pretty vicious,’ and they just said, ‘the emu’s escaped again!?’”

The four members of Dead Cat Bounce met at Trinity College in Dublin, finally deciding to combine their comedy and band experiences after they became housemates. Their break came with their first gig, which comedian Will Ferrel just happened to be in the audience for. “It was a very weird experience, he walked into the room and the tone just changed. [The audience] were watching for when he laughed, and they would laugh even more. The next day we got a development deal with Irish Television.”

Dead Cat Bounce are an amalgamation of two great loves, comedy and rock ‘n roll. “A lot of what we do is the big eighties hair rock, taking the excess of various genres and making it fun and interesting and different. Our show goes from 80’s hair metal to barbershop to hip hop. We’re like The Muppet Show really, but bigger, and we try and make each night a bit different.” After the massive amount of buzz from Adelaide, is there anything special in store for Melbourne? “Well, we heard it was an amazing city for music, and we were planning on having a go at one of our ‘Bootlegs’, a live band mash up set that we do. It started out as a party piece, but now we’re asked to do it all the time. The last one was of Back in Black with You Oughta Know by Alanis Morrissette. We set up outside on the balcony of our venue in Adelaide, brought all the PA’s and speakers out, but we were shut down by the police fifteen minutes in.” Very AC/DC.

Beat Magazine, Issue #1210, March 24th, 2010

Andrew O’Neill: Occult Comedian

Andrew O’Neill, The Occult Comedian, is about to debut his show in Australia. He took some time out to answer some questions.

What number Melbourne Comedy Festival is this for you?

This will be my first. I’ve never been south of the Equator before, although I did once live with an Australian, and I worked in Mambo in Covent Garden for a bit so I reckon I’ve got the country pretty well figured out. The stars are different. That is scary.

Tell us about your show.

It’s called Occult Comedian and it explores my dabblings in black magic, as well as my weirdo lifestyle choices. It’s mad and surreal and fast-paced and it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever written. I’m a transvestite, too, so you’ll see me looking pretty.

How did you end up doing comedy?

I’ve always been a massive comedy fan and it was really just a natural extension of trying to make my mates laugh all the time. I am 100% less annoying in social situations now. Well… 50%…

What thing/person/idea are you most obsessed with at this time?

A Croatian black metal band called Drudkh are making me very happy indeed, and the Jonas Brothers continue to be alive, which makes me very unhappy. Alan Moore continues to be my biggest influence and various entities that I converse with are helping through the first phase of this trip.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?

Josie Long is sublime, Jason Cook is brilliant… my hot tip is a little show called Eric’s Tales Of The Sea… 100% true stories of a man’s life on Royal Navy submarines. It’s completely hilarious and heartbreaking and real. You have to see it.

Can you tell us about your extracurricular activities?

Aside from sending myself mad doing ritual magick, I’m in a steampunk band called The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. We’ve just recorded an album called Now That’s What I Call Steampunk! Volume 1… We dress like Victorian misfits and we sound like early 80s British punk mixed with Victorian music-hall and a dash of death metal.

What about your affair with Jack the Ripper?

I used to work in the Cabinet War Rooms, which is where Winston Churchill fought WW2. I was reading my 20th book on the Ripper and wondered how old Churchill was in 1888. He was 13. Bingo. So I wrote a show called Winston Churchill was Jack The Ripper, which took on a life of its own… I now perform that show round the actual murder sites.

Do you have anything in the works right now?

I’m slowly working on a psychogeography-themed series of shows based on… places that have had most influence on my life. I have a DVD in the pipeline and my band’s album comes out in May.

Would you rather not wash your towel for three months, or your bed sheets for three months?

I’m a metal-head. This happens more than you’d think…

Beat Magazine, Issue #1210, March 24th, 2010