STEPHEN K. AMOS @ Regal Theatre (for Perth Comedy Festival)
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Stephen K. Amos (SKA) is universally beloved, and for good reason – he’s one of the most endearing and enduring comedians on Earth. With no less than 25 years of entertaining audiences worldwide on stages, screens and in writing, he’s the Daddy of modern comedy. He’s a little saucy, a lot of sweetness, and delivers a world class, polished act that lightens the soul while delivering a message right into your lap. Upcoming comedians need to take lessons from SKA, as do audiences.
A Stephen K. Amos show (in this tour’s case World Famous – it rhymes with Amos) is audience etiquette and comedy school 101. SKA will explain funny – “something is a joke when it’s extremely unlikely”. If you’re a comedy virgin, he will break you in and pop your cherry with more tenderness than your first lover ever provided. But he will not tolerate bad behaviour, as one feckless heckler discovered. This is his show, and you’ll regret forgetting it. That laughter? It belongs to him. It’s his. Behave.
Lesson one at the SKA school for audiences? Mind your body language. We will not tolerate crossed arms. Welcome him into them, though, and he’ll revel in engagement with you, the audience, wholeheartedly and deeply. You’ll rapidly forget that he’s on a stage before you, and not in conversation with you personally, which is at the crux of any great stage performance.
So professional and faultlessly relaxed he is that the illusion fades away until you almost believe you’re just having a drink with a very quick witted, entertaining mate at the pub. A mate who’s busy telling you when you’re wrong, in the most polite, delicious way. It’s a delectable feast of perfect timing, choreographed showmanship, and just enough brain food to snack on when you exit, leaving you with notes upon which to reflect if you so desire. Nothing is off-limits, from casual racism to homophobia and transphobia. Toying with topical subject matter with keen observational humour, SKA knows how to play with the audience, and being his putty is nothing less than a good time.
Lesson two – laugh with all your being. It’s a thing that’s cherished. Loud guffaws are very welcome here. Come armed with your heartiest laugh to any comedy show and you will be treasured like a prized toy, and praised heartily, as one gloriously loud laugher discovered.
Lesson three – no talking during a show. Seems so obvious, but there is a precedent here, and he may just threaten you with bodily harm if you’re deserving. No spoilers, but just don’t. Some audiences need educating, and this is the man for the job. School is in session. Pay attention, class, because being a good audience member is crucial to live performance. If you’re going to pay for the good seats front of house, be aware that your reactions and energy play a hand in the performer’s engagement with all of us. You actually play a rather vital role in the outcome, so bring your A-game.
In the man’s own words, “if you’re expecting deep meaning and pathos, you’re at the wrong show.” But if you’re seeking a real tickle of the funny bone, dealt out with aplomb in a royal flush of glee, go and see Stephen K. Amos and emerge a victorious winner.
Stephen K. Amos performs again tonight and tomorrow, May 6-7, at the Regal Theatre. Perth Comedy Festival runs until May 21 at various locations. Tickets and information HERE.