It's Rhys Darby Night
Rhys Darby is firing on all cylinders. A stand-up comic with some ten years experience, Rhys shot to fame recently as Murray, Bret and Jemaine's hapless manager in Flight of the Conchords. But hold on to your hats, folks - as adorable as he is on TV, it's not a patch on his live show. A gifted physical comedian, sound effects generator and absurdist, Darby has perfected a unique approach to stand-up, combining awkward dork charm with razor sharp timing and genius delivery.
Am I gushing? I was crying with laughter last night, watching It's Rhys Darby Night at the Comedy Theatre and cursing myself for missing his 2009 Australian tour. This seemingly effortless humour - where you can just about forget the hours of writing, rehearsing and road-testing that goes into a show - is a rare treat, and it clearly inspires a giddy devotion. Rhys' Melbourne fans were many and they were vocal - he received a rock star's welcome as he took to the stage.
He began his routine in character, as 'Bill the park ranger', who claimed to have given Rhys Darby his first gig in 1999 before becoming his stage manager. 'Bill' warmed the crowd with
uncomfortable, overstated jokes before handing the microphone to affable Kiwi comic Chris Brain, the support act. After the interval, Rhys returned as Rhys, regaling the audience with tales of his new found fame, Hollywood agents, Dr Dre and dinosaurs. The bits didn’t feel like bits, just a free-flowing stream of gently self-deprecating conversation, punctuated by hysterically funny sight and sound gags.
Things became slightly uneasy when Rhys launched into a tale of anal assault, but there was a decent pay-off at the end of the story (thank christ, 'cause it was weird). He closed the show with a one-man Apocalypse Now, which was simple but brilliant, and returned to deliver the best encore I have ever seen, performed entirely in mime.