First thing’s first – Timothy Clark’s self-given title of ‘the bad boy of Melbourne comedy’ is an ironic one. Clark is clearly a lovely, gentle person, and also, a bit of a nerd.
Clark uses his affable awkwardness to great comedic effect. The stories he tells are filled with the familiar desire be cool and offset by the breezy confidence of someone who has embraced their personality regardless. Clark’s emphasis of punchlines with elongated pauses and “did you get it” gestures to the audience make text the subtext of all stand up comedy – the need for public validation from strangers. Which is not to say this comedy about comedy in any kind of self-serious fashion, it’s more that Clark’s a huge fan of his art form, and he knows his audience is too. He knows how this works, and he knows you know how it works.
The show is on at 12 Bourke Street, which these days is apparently called Number 12 La Barre Electronique, but is formerly Korova Milk Bar. Cleaner, and with far less drugs, the venue spaces upstairs are decent sized rooms with comfortable seating arrangements. On the night I went, the audience was a small five people. While an audience of that size can often be uncomfortable, and the silences between laughs downright palpable, Clark managed to make the room feel full with wall to wall laughter.
Badboycomedy69@hotmail.com is, for the most part, quite a light show. Clark is happy to be onstage, and he wants you to share in that happiness. This isn’t a confessional or a therapy session, this is a comedy show. Clark draws on his experiences of awkwardness and the times in his life in which he has most wanted to be cool. While for the most part Clark comfortably performs straight stand up, there are also sketches, props, musical cues, and a few questions for the audience. It’s all a bit silly and you will laugh very hard. And yes, it is a real email address.
Badboycomedy69@hotmail.com is on as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at 6:45pm until 9 April. Tickets range between $12 – $18, and are available online and at the door.