Canberra standup comedy has been undergoing a renaissance for the past few years. There's a lot of very funny people going around telling jokes - your average open mike night is still a bit hit and miss, but the co-ordinated nights (such as the regular gig at the Civic Pub) are usually nights of continuous comedy gold.
And if it's a renaissance we've got, Kale Bogdanovs might just be our ... I don't know, one of the really impressive Ninja Turtles. Leonardo, probably. Cause he invents stuff that nobody else does. He comes across as just that teensy bit more intellectual than your average joke-jockey - that may just be to do with wearing glasses and enjoying the way a sentence is put together way too much, but never the less, it's rare for him to be caught in the middle of doing a cheap joke. His jokes are very expensive artisan-carved pieces.
So this Tuesday he did his CD recording at Tuggernong Arts Centre. Using the theatre rather than the cabaret room (and comedy ALWAYS gets better in the big room at tuggernong - suddenly you're not stuck in the corner with the tiger-print lounge and the weird angles), he claimed the stage as his own for an hour of material that looked at love, work, body-image and, surprisingly, mortality to an appreciative audience. It was delightful, and if you missed it ... buy the goddamn CD, it'll be awesome.
Support acts were mostly pretty reasonable. Host Neil Sinclair seemed a tad nervous (and got Kale's name wrong, which... is very slightly inexcusable), and I've seen Simon Bower be better (a man that young and allegedly prudish possibly shouldn't be doing non-stop sex humour), but Jay Sullivan brought a very professional ten minutes to close out the first half in style, including a nice line in Gina Reinhardt jokes that moved a little beyond the obvious.
But Kale was, and is, the main attraction. He's leaving Canberra for the bright lights of New York shortly, so ... this might be one of your few chances to say "I saw him when" - he's hosting the Hot Five competition on 17 October and is headlining the Civic pub on 7 November. Go. You know he'll be funny. It's what he does.