Steele Saunders - The Cat’s Meow
Steele Saunders’ The Cat’s Meow is primarily a comparative analysis of why cats are better than people. The show is very well constructed, Steele’s extensive preparation discernable. The Cat’s Meow is a show about cats. This may seem obvious, but many shows titles are only briefly explored- if at all.
The star of Steele’s show is his Persian cat Jerry: whose eyes, nose are mouth are all squashed into an adorably straight, horizontal line.
The tenderness Steele feels toward both his girlfriend and the cat he bought to make her happy, results in a genuine and heartfelt show.
The bulk of The Cat’s Meow is constructed around some coloured cards Steele has erected onto a black curtain. They list the many ways cats are superior to the human race: fitness; names; road rules; technology; upbringing; honesty; awareness; happiness; and intelligence.
Cats are also brutally honest, a quality Steele respects greatly. His dislike of bullshit is quite clear in the honesty Steele interjects in his own stand-up.
The topics Steele touches on each leads to a funny anecdote or argument in favour of our feline friends. Sometimes a consistent theme can be in lieu of humour, or vice versa, but this cannot be said of The Cat’s Meow.
Surprisingly the show contained only one cute cat video, which is not lazily pulled off youtube, but Steele’s own filming. It is also relevant, again a testament to the shows’ strong structure. This video of the cat realising he was looking at his own reflection leads seamlessly into one of the highlights of the show: a story about a drug-up simpleton fighting his own reflection in the mirror.
As the show progresses you realise that the show isn’t so much about why cats are fantastic, but why humanity has lowered his expectations. His disenchantment with people borders on dark, but is executed with comedic expertise.
Steele’s years of experience on the comedy circuit is immediately recognisable. He never falters, lightly heckling latecomers with professional ease and using humour over hostility. Steele’s deadpan demeanour doesn’t detract from the consistent laughs he gets.
The Cat’s Meow is profound, candid, and uproariously hilarious. You need not be a cat lover to enjoy this solid hour of comedy gold.
Steele Saunders is performing The Cat's Meow upstairs at Spleen from Tuesday-Sunday until April 22. Check comedyfestival.com.au for ticket information.