Wil Anderson: Wilarious
Go and see Wil Anderson live, and you’ll realise just why this quintessential man of Australian comedy has dominated the Melbourne International Comedy Festival stage for the past 17 years. With his loud and, at times, obscene anecdotes which constantly have the audience gasping for air, there is also a distinct sense of tranquillity that surrounds his stories, and the man himself.
Having seen Wil perform live numerous times, I was almost adamant that I could anticipate what was to come with this performance. Not the jokes themselves, but rather the comedic level of each punch-line. What I was not to anticipate, however, was just how engrossing and, at times, confusing each yarn could be. To put it bluntly, the man knows how to go off on a tangent. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. Never have I seen someone so composed that they are able to spend twenty minutes digressing from an original story – so much so that it has nothing to do with what they were initially talking about – only to bring themselves back to their original point perfectly. This happened in the show more than once, actually. I often found myself looking around at the audience every time he’d revert back from a tangent, and watch as everyone looked on in a state of “Holy shit. How did he even remember what he was talking about?” Yes, I understand that he’s had to write, perfect and practice this routine, but as someone with a public speaking and debating background, I know from experience that going off on impromptu tangents can often leave one high and dry.
Speaking on everything from his father’s heart attack and his battle with osteoarthritis of the hips, to that time he was going down on a girl and she fell asleep or the time an old Russian lady moved his man parts in order to get a decent x-ray, there was never a dull moment throughout the entirety of his performance. Despite maintaining that ‘comedian’ label, there’s a real truth behind Wil and his stories. Using his intellect and quick-wit to connect with the audience, it was evident that, despite being in his 18th year of the festival – a title that could not be held by many others, he appreciated each and every moment that he was able to connect with the audience, and vice versa.
If, for whatever reason, you’ve lost belief in comedy, head to one of Wil’s show and your faith will be restored.
Wil Anderson is Wilarious. Playing at The Comedy Theatre for the Melbourne Internarional Comedy Festival until April 15. Tickets through Ticketmaster.