Sammy J & Randy are pretty famous. One of them is a tall, lanky blond man and the other one is a purple puppet. It doesn’t affect their relationship much. They sing songs and tell jokes. After seven years of performing together, An Evening With Sammy J & Randy is their fifth Melbourne International Comedy Festival show.
Much like last year’s show, Sammy J & Randy’s Difficult First Album Tour, An Evening With is a variety hour. Sketch, stand up and song meld together without a narrative structure, building on the well established relationship between the man and the puppet. It’s everything you would expect from a Sammy J and Randy show; overly sexual, whimsical, and occasionally dark and violent. The duo has a dynamic that works, and they continue to successfully blend music and comedy, providing as many musical jokes as verbal ones.
Sammy J is a little creepier each year, something that he plays up with an outfit straight from the seventies in various shades of brown. The foul mouthed puppet cliché is only one aspect of Randy’s character, and it is often Sammy J who says the more outlandish things. Randy’s status as a puppet is finally embraced, and it results in frequently hilarious moments of physicality.
The show is a mixture of new material and crowd pleasers, but the songs are well written enough that hearing them for a second (or even tenth) time isn’t a drag. Each moment is funny, but without a storyline, only a handful of jokes are particularly memorable. The messy, aggressive narratives of previous shows like Bin Night and The Inheritance are missed, but perhaps that’s because most of Sammy J and Randy’s story based material has gone into their new television show, set to air later this year.
Ultimately, Sammy J and Randy are Sammy J and Randy. They’re a safe, if mildly expensive, fun hour of comedy.
An Evening with Sammy J and Randy is on at the HiFi bar from March 26th until April 19th, every night except Mondays. Tickets range from $30 to $40 and are available online or from the MICF box office.