Sketch comedy is a tough market to crack. Sure, you can’t go wrong with Monty Python, but Saturday Night Live has seen better days, and it’s debatable that Australian sketch comedy has delivered anything memorable since the heights of Full Frontal. Enter our fab four; Adam Knox, Ben Vernel, Rosie Vernel and Timothy Clark a.k.a. Chimp Cop. Always a festival hit, this unpredictable troupe are constant breaths of fresh air to the art of sketch comedy and this year was no exception.
After 2018’s The Death of Chimp Cop the group has certainly layed the policing primate to rest and waved goodbye to any narrative structure to put on a thoroughly entertaining and fantastically silly variety show. Not only do the quartet work ridiculously well together to create immersive scenes through solidified characters and theatrical sound and lighting, Chimp Cop know funny and work hard at squeezing as many laughs as possible from their audience, all while making it seem effortless while having fun simultaneously.
Each premise was cleverly layered, from pastiches of Millionaire Hot Seat and Louis CK to my personal highlight of sending up the junior sports films of yesteryear. Mixed with some humourous fourth wall breaks, musical numbers and a running gag about toxic masculinity there you have the recipe for another classic Chimp Cop show.
Almost the whole thing appears seamless, and even when it didn’t, the gang sure know how to recover quickly and pick things back up again, as well as take the chance to get more laughs from the audience and each other. Chimp Cop have easily established themselves as infallibly fun and a staple in the Melbourne sketch comedy scene. Another win in the books for Chimp Cop.
The Very Best of Chimp Cop (All New Material) is on at 7:30pm at Trades Hall until 21 April as part of the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available from the MICF website or at the venue.