Canberra Standup comedy has a pretty good repuation round town, and one of the best gigs for a while has been the Civic Pub's first Wednesday gig. Good enough that, in warmup for appearances at the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival, Dave O'Neil (he's been on telly repeatedly!) brought his current show to canberra for a tryout night there. Surprisingly, this wasn't one of the Civic pub's best nights - the venue, which has usually been good for a quiet night that supports the standup, let a little too much bar-noise and downstairs rattles through. Also slightly underattended, which was disappointing.
Anyway, on to the actual standup. On MC and warmup duties were Canberra stalwarts The Stevenson Experience, a musical twin-brother duo who I've been seeing on-and-off for the last couple of years. It was good to see them with a bunch of fairly new material (I only recognised one song from previous gigs), even including a bit of character acting and choreography (or at least marching in one place) in an attempted mini-musical. The Stevenson's are very polished (even when they slide off-script, they keep good solid momentum going), and kicked off and held the evening together well.
Of the support act gigs, Harris Stuckey kicked off his gig by apologising for using his notes (never a good look) and dropped a series of amusing but unstructured one-liners. Craig Harvey used his physicality and a nice set of running gags in some good suburban-dad material. Simon Bower seems improved from last time I reviewed him (as part of Kale Bogdanov's gig) but his last joke was not his best joke.
Dave O'Neil was exactly what you expect from him on telly - a nice ramble through material about Devo, bogans, a reasonable sideline in the occasionally-risky-territory of Queanbeyan jokes, being a dad, the perils of being a breakfast radio host or Tonight show location-guy and boy-scouting. It was maybe a little over-extended as a 50 minute gig (I get the feeling he's still getting the kinks out) but, for $12 a pop, it's not a bad feeling to be experimented on a bit with someone as skilled as Dave is.
As noted, Dave will be touring this all over the place (Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne comedy Festival, many other places). Harris Stuckey and Simon Bower are 50% of the Canberra Comedy Festival's "Irresponsible" which you can read more about or buy tickets to here. The Stevenson Experience will also be featuring in their show "How I met your brother" which you can read more about or just buy tickets to here.