If you’re familiar with the ’90s sitcom Married…with Children, then you will understand Aaron Gocs’ aptly titled show Divorced…with Children. Before Gocsy enters the stage, the iconic theme song for Married… with Children plays. Except, in place of the expected “love and marriage” lyrics, you hear “love and… Div-or-orce” in that beloved Gocsy Aussie drone.
Aaron Gocs really is Australia’s answer to Al Bundy…but more respectful to women. He epitomises the bumbling dad trope. He even has a mullet for god’s sake. I think we can all thank Gocsy for single-handedly bringing the mullet back. It’s so iconic that even Brunswick hipsters have adopted it.
The set transforms us to Gocs’ lounge room. To open the show, he gets comfortable and sits on a slightly dishevelled brown couch – a staple of the divorced, suburban dad. However, it is the Victoria Hotel Boardroom, which has pretty poor visibility as it is. So while the front row could see, everyone else was pretty unlucky. He did recognise this flaw however, standing up and acknowledging that the people in the back wouldn’t have known what was going on. “For all they know, I could’ve just been a tape playing” he says.
At the beginning of the show, Gocs regularly talks about his failed marriage to a woman from Africa, which happened in his early 20s. Unfortunately, it was a ‘classic stitch-up’ moment and he was left divorced and raising two little girls by himself. However, he does give his parents the credit they deserve, who did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to parenting the girls. He hilariously remembers his parents telling him that his ex-wife was just a user from the start, but said he attributed that to them being racist Queenslanders.
Gocs is inherently funny. He could tell you that your Grandma had just died, and you would still laugh. There’s something about his demeanour and the way he delivers a joke, but then immediately backtracks and says “nah” or “not really”. It creates an aura of relatability around him; you just can’t not like him.
Gocs is truly in peak physical form. He handles the microphone like a man wielding an axe; there is nothing more attractive than seeing a man in his element. He can make a joke about his frequent trips to fast food drive-throughs and how he’s let himself go, while still maintaining his integrity. Single men, take notes.
He’s definitely come a long way since his Facebook heyday, with the ‘classic stitch up’ and Simpsons impressions which have amassed a huge following of 95,000 on Facebook. Despite those still being hilarious, Divorced… with Children follows a narrative arch and is more refined than the classic short burst Facebook videos that fans are used to seeing.
Goc’s authenticity makes him a true master of comedy. Not only are the jokes funny, but he himself is funny, and isn’t that what comedy is all about?
Highlight: Before providing a life hack of his own, he tells you that his favourite life hack is beating up people who say life hack.
Lowlight: Many of the chairs were bar-stools, my back was not thanking me later.
Crowd Favourite: His loveable Aussie larrikin nature, everyone was just in awe of him.
Aaron Gocs’ Divorced…with Children runs until Sunday April 21 (bar Mondays) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.