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Published April 7, 2018

Our good friend Michael Shafar (The Project, The Leak) is back this Melbourne International Comedy Festival with Kosher Bacon, a delightful show that has all the sizzle and flavour its namesake does not, perfect for Gentiles and Jews alike. You don’t have to keep the faith to find it funny, but it helps.

I was fortunate enough to see an earlier edition of this show at last year’s Fringe; and the time I recall mentioning that Shafar somewhat raced through his material, and this was a reflection of his confidence. It’s interesting to now see a more finalised, polished version of the performance; it would seem his speedy delivery was as a method of testing as much as he could, while his Festival show is more relaxed, more flowing, more like watching just the best bits.

Kosher Bacon is a love letter of sorts to some of those day-to-day situations that seem to just be inherently contradictory (like, well, kosher bacon). There’s a particularly funny portion where he discusses a friend who has some pretty unusual ideas of when you should keep kosher, that demonstrates those little foibles and self-justifications that we just accept in ourselves. I also enjoyed his very sensible take on buying jewellery for his girlfriend.

For me, one of the most developed sections that highlighted some of these strange, at times slightly hypocritical contradictions, is his anecdote about an encounter with a security guard at a festival, and some of the odd ways certain rules were enforced, particularly regarding a bagel his Mum had packed him, and a bottle of water. The security guard’s insistence in following the letters of the law, while completely missing the point, is played to its utterly hilarious conclusion.

Kosher Bacon is worth the watch, as Shafar is going from strength to strength, and I, for one, look forward to seeing more of him.


is in the Music Room of Trades Hall at 8:15pm until 22 April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Shows are selling out fast, so book now via the MICF website!

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