Like many of the great philosophers before him, Michael Shafar is on a quest to understand the world around him. Unlike Plato, Socrates or Aristotle, who postulated on the nature of truth and reality, however, Michael just wants to understand some closer to home contradictions; like kosher bacon (also, unlike kosher bacon, this show will not disappoint!).
Shafar is a comfortable and experienced performer, and it is evident in the amount of work he puts into each show; he is quite confidently able to work through the vast amounts of material he has prepared, and is rehearsed enough that he never misses a bit. He’s also practised in responding to an audience, adapting to them appropriately. One might – early on – mistake his quick fire delivery as a mechanism to aid in memorising his set, but it clearly indicates a familiarity with his humour, never floundering or asking, “what was I saying?” (which, in my opinion, leads to performers losing momentum and then their audience).
Topics range from his long term relationship with his girlfriend (“I tried to start something, she said, ‘there’s ten minutes left’, then we watched three more episodes of House of Cards and fell asleep facing opposite directions”) and whether or not they’ll get married (“Why don’t we get our jewellery from Zamel’s? Is it a dowry thing?”), to a local politician who worked as a bar mitzvah DJ on weekends (DJ South), to all manner of other contradictions of day-to-day life. I really enjoyed his opening audience participation bit, involving his friend getting tickets to see a well-known DJ, and the obvious problems of pre-records.
Shafar is a regular performer in Melbourne’s comedy scene, as well as organising shows such as Melbourne Comedy’s Rising Stars, AND writing for Channel 10’s The Project, so it’s fair to say he has many opportunities to practice and hone, and this is partially why he has so many packed or sold out shows; he has the twin advantages of being a recognisable face, and having material that has been sharpened to a razor blade through trial, error and practice. He’s also RAW Comedy finalist, and they don’t just let anyone be one of those.
Michael Shafar’s Kosher Bacon is at 9pm at the Lithuanian Club until 30 September. Tickets are $20 – $25.