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Michael Shafar: ‘Kosher Bacon’

4 / 5.

Michael Shafar hosted his new show in the Trades Hall’s Music Room, a hidden away sector of the Comedy Festival headquarters, the Mess Hall. After a stint in the Melbourne Fringe Festival, including being on lineups for both LEMON. Comedy and triple j’s Good Az Friday, Shafar is already making a name for himself in the local Melbourne scene as an honest, and finger-on-the-pulse comedian. This prowess for authenticity and humour was apparent in spades as all members of the audience felt comfortable in the small space shared between them and Shafar.
 
With a show called Kosher Bacon, the crowd would expect something chock full of Jewish-related jokes - a now well cemented staple of Shafar’s - and with some punchlines basically being “cause I’m Jewish”, this expectation was not lost on the audience. With this title, audiences shouldn’t expect only Jewish humour, on the contrary, Shafar’s expertise in hilarious and gripping storytelling helped with his surprisingly vulgar and dark examinations of marriage, the media, terrorism and racism, with some Jewish perspectives sprinkled in.
 
Shafar’s religion wasn’t an overused gimmick either as the Jewish anecdotes he told were relatable for Jews and ridiculous for Gentiles. In other topics, Shafar’s control of the delivery was immaculate as setups and punchlines came and went hilariously but also almost conversationally. From topic to topic, Shafar sought to deprecate himself, the audience, his faith and the world around us, which perfectly captivated punters. For the most part, Shafar had this absorbed crowd more and more in the palm of his hand as the night progressed.
 
This captivation came from the perfect rhythm and flow the night had. Without getting bogged in awkward topic transitions, Shafar aptly swung from one topic to another, with many jokes reappearing throughout the night, rewarding the audience’s attentiveness. This flow as well made the show feel streamlined, eliminating any need for the awareness of time.
 
Those of any faith should not be dismayed by the show’s seemingly Jewish-centric title. Anyone, no matter their faith, age or outlook will love Michael Shafar’s innate ability to make any concept knee-slappingly hilarious and entertaining. From making boring brand slogans to macabre cases of jarred foreskin hysterically funny, Shafar is a wonder of a comedian to share a night with and should be on everyone’s festival bucket list. There’s no better time to go kosher than this year’s Comedy Festival.