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Blake Everett showed he's still young at heart in 'Unknown Comedian'

3.5 / 5. 

Around 620 shows sprawl the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, an extravaganza devoted to providing opportunity rather than centralising on ability and esteem.

So it comes as little surprise that youthful 20-year-old comic, Blake Everett, introduces himself as the “Unknown Comedian” for his third consecutive run at the event.

It’s difficult to evade the convolution and set yourself apart when, on one night, you’re tussling with 15 other talented clowns throwing down their best impressions in the same residence.

Nevertheless, Everett consolidates his niche through a goofy melding of sketch, stand-up and musicianship.

As a spectator, you’re entitled to relax and enjoy something you’ve paid for but just when you think you’ve nestled camouflaged from Everett’s snooping eyeshot, he catches you off guard.

It’s a standard narrative in comedy that audience participation fosters laughter – it’s the mockery and relatability of it and Everett champions this tactic to no relent.

Two latecomers become the fruit of Everett’s master plan, as he targets them with an increasingly prying questionnaire ­- “What do you do for work?” elevates to “Why are you here?” before climaxing at “Have you ever masturbated in front of a dog?”

Not your ordinary classroom survey, yet it fitted within Everett’s crass design. As if we were 17 years old and scraping the surface of our adulthood, he taught us how to use expletives correctly and sang about sperm to excite the juvenility inside us all.

His musicianship was polished without being spectacular and the acoustic guitar was never far away from centre stage. Meddling with repetition, his jovial singing and witty lyricism ventilated the set but if you weren’t one for vulgarity it may have been a bit much.

As much as his set was structured around a setlist, Everett rode the waves of the audience and his instinct, digressing if it felt right and capitalising on opportunities the audience provided him.

Performing in the moment and not intimidated by the occasion, the joker then reeled off cat impersonations of Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken and paused on Tom Waits… who waits.

The show was a mixed bag and revealed a fresh face still induced by his immaturity. Everett’s fervour for the stage could not be faulted nonetheless and if he can continue to capitalise on the dexterity that sets his show apart his so-called “Unknown Comedian” status will become obsolete.