Comedy review: Matt Okine ‘The Other Guy’, Sydney Comedy Festival, 14 May 2015

Despite the best part of a decade successfully working the comedy clubs, to many Matt Okine is probably best known for his starring role in that viral video. While interviewing Chris Rock, Okine unthinkingly boasted that his comedy was “really good” and then squirmed uncomfortably as the comedy icon reacted skeptically.
If only Rock could see him now. He’s always been a winningly casual, supremely likable presence, the sort of performer who just makes sense on stage. The Other Guy, however sees him lean on his considerable charm less and expand his comic range. It’s both more personal and more political than he’s ever been before. It’s also just funnier.

Back to that video for a moment: it worked because of Okine’s willingness to be embarrassed. He instantly knew he’d said something stupid and allowed us to cringe along with him. So it is with some of the strongest stuff here; when he recounts a truly misguided attempt to re-enter the dating game, you can almost feel the room collectively wince through the laughter.

Read the full review at The Sydney Morning Herald:

Comedy review: Josie Long ‘Cara Josephine’, Sydney Comedy Festival, 22 April 2015

Inevitably described as “giddily enthusiastic” and or “unfashionably optimistic”, Josie Long has always ranked high on the list of stand-up comedians you would most like to be friends with. Blessed with a gift for wide-eyed exasperation and the demeanour of a kid who’s broken into a lolly shop, she could easily coast on her abundant charm and perpetual underdog status.

While recent shows have seen her tap into a politically charged vein, Cara Josephine is a creative left-turn, a bold venture into highly personal territory. The show begins with her admitting she had her heart broken last year and traces what happens as her trademark hopefulness is put to the test in the wrenching aftermath of a breakup.

Suffering an unseemly bout of jealousy when she spies a love bite “the size of a slice of ham” on the neck of a teenaged fast food worker, Long tries to escape her woes by throwing herself into her multitude of interests. This includes embracing indoor rock-climbing, delving deep into American literature and, most memorably, cracking wise like a femme fatale​ in a film noir.

Read the full review in The Sydney Morning Herald: