Matt Harvey’s I Got Bit By A Monkey Once explored a very different kind of comedy than you might typically expect. Presented over an hour, Matt shared five personal stories. The first, which inspired the name of the show, concerned a traumatising monkey bite. The stories that followed then covered a bizarre trip over the Texas border, an amusing interaction with a Protective Services Officer, a mistake with potentially life changing consequences and a robbery.
It was perhaps Matt’s invitation to understand the show as a ‘journey’ that first convinced me that these seemingly unrelated stories were going to be somehow connected in the finale of the show. I’m not sure why I felt it was necessary for these stories to be neatly tied up, for the randomness and segmentation to be explained. After all, why should they? Life is full of random and unexplained events. At least, that was my interpretation of Matt’s show.
Matt had a great presence and made good use of the stage, interacting with audience members in an amiable, non-alienating way. His use of audio was a seamless technique to mark the end of a story and the start of another, and was a quirky way to insert ironic snippets of music that somehow related to his anecdotes. I was not surprised to learn that Matt co-hosts his own podcast.
If you like storytelling or if you want to hear about someone else’s strange encounters and misfortunes, Matt Harvey has the show for you. In the spirit of the MICF, it is worth supporting these local comedians, providing them with a platform to increase their experience and test their material on a supportive crowd.
I Got Bit By A Monkey Once… is on at 6pm at the Tickle Pit at Rozzi’s until 20 April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available at the venue or via the MICF website.