When heading out to a comedy night, it’s a fair assumption that you’ll see a planned out, well structured show, usually with a theme running through the night. It would also be a fair assumption that the show would be almost exactly the same for the whole run with the only difference being the audience (and hecklers). However, at a Ross Noble show, there are only two things that you can be sure of. The first is that it will be a completely weird and random night as he jumps from thought to thought with only a vague idea of where the night is going to take him. The second, of course, is audience participation, and Humournoid at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre was no exception.
As the lights went down and the curtain dropped, an extravagant set was revealed with cord lights running haphazardly between two halves of Noble’s head. Climbing over and under the lights to cheers and applause, Noble immediately launched into a tirade about dancing giraffes and how the main transport in Mandurah happens to be on the back of dolphins – all accompanied by impressions of said animals. “This show rewards people with a good imagination,” he told everyone, demonstrating this by talking about the pile of unconscious penguins that he had brought along, laughing as he watched most heads immediately look towards where he gestured. He had the audience in stitches, sometimes awkwardly, as he spoke about “Cosby Alarms”, Michael Jackson’s Chimpanzee Bubbles, Cardinal Pell, Mr Miyagi and the Bali Nine. Not even Lionel Ritchie was safe from his rambling thoughts.
At every comedy show, there are those that feel they have to call something out and it was during the second half that one heckler may have wished that he stayed quiet as Noble took up his idea and, after suggesting that the guy head to the adult section at the library, began to completely destroy him… his friends will never look at him and clocks the same way again. Noble left us with a true story about a Viking send-off for his dad’s ashes gone wrong, involving sandwich bags, a Dyson, and ending up in a Norwegian toilet.
You have to be quick to keep up with a Ross Noble show. It’s common for him to start a topic, get distracted, and move onto another topic while you’re still thinking, “but what about The Lion King or the old wise man?” but he always manages to wrap things up nicely by the end of the night. Whatever tangent he takes during his shows, if you don’t go home with sore cheeks and a sore stomach from laughing too much, you are probably at the wrong show.