Angus Brown and Demi Lardner are two funny, successful comedians. Regulars of the Melbourne comedy scene, their material is consistently good. Lardner won Raw Comedy in 2013, and Brown is a co-host of KissFM’s breakfast show three days a week. So their Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Best Good Show should be a highlight of the festival. A strange mix of sketch, story and stand up, Best Good Show details the events of Angus and Demi’s first day at mortician school.
Best Good Show is a late night hot mess. The premise is odd but workable and the segments that revolve around it are reasonable, for the most part. The unrelated sketches that have a clear idea and through line are well executed and funny. There is a lot of good content in the show, it’s just that it’s hidden behind some lazy writing.
Too often, Brown and Lardner fall back on the joke that the show is barely written and ostensibly unfinished. A handful rely on the suggestion that they don’t want to be there at all. There’s an obvious logic behind this kind of tumble down comedy, it allows mistakes to be encompassed by the show’s structure. Unfortunately, when repeated in three separate sketches, the ambiguity of whether it is written that way or not becomes a concern rather than a source of humour. It’s a tempting tactic for comedians on a budget, though it is more ambitious than it first seems. Lardner, whose stage persona usually manages to make the phrase “enthusiastic deadpan” not seem like such an oxymoron, talks at a hundred kilometres an hour and seems genuinely unimpressed with the whole show, much to Brown’s frustration. Brown, both as himself and the caricatured version, pours effort and exuberance into the show to little avail.
There is still laughter to be had in Best Good Show. The transitional beats are clever, and the use of voice over entertaining. Some of the more complex meta moments do manage to land in the ambiguous space Lardner and Brown are aiming for. A little more time and a bit more polish could see Best Good Show proclaimed the highlight it deserves to be.
Best Good Show is on at Little Sista at 11:30pm from Thursday March 26th until April 19th on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Tickets range between $10 and $24, and are available online and at the door.