Ben McCarthy : Nevermind
In a cosy boudoir at the Speakeasy HQ Vaults, a small yet eager audience awaits the arrival of their comedian. The lights are faded and the mood is ambient, yet Ben McCarthy is about to shake that up.
As the proclaimed funny man enters, he catches sight of a viewer’s phone ringing and with a swipe of a hand he answers with an interrogative, ‘What time does it say on your ticket?’ landing his first laugh of the evening. We are certainly in for a night of amusement from the bold and occasionally cheeky comedian.
Ben’s second stand-up show, Nevermind, ups the ante with an amalgamation of wit and banter that guides us through a bunch of everyday life experiences. It's impossible to list all the topics covered but expect jokes about meeting famous people, Australian accents, handling hecklers and naturally one of the most reliable comical topics - dating lives.
McCarthy’s strengths lie with the seemingly honest and personal recital of such absurd occurrences with a nice mix of dry and sarcastic comedy. As a performer, he is charming and garners the audience’s goodwill (though it felt many of tonight’s audience were his nearest & dearest) with a natural air of hilarity, light cynicism and a hint of self-depreciation.
The tone of his stand-up set, though occasionally misanthropic certainly had it’s moments. From picking on latecomers with some light humour (and rightly so) to stories about Bali, his approach to humour is both disarmingly earnest and fun. One to look out for is the story about how his comedy idol still gives him sh*t from beyond the grave, which reaped some of the largest laughs this evening.
Though entertaining at times however, Ben’s attempt to cover such a wide array of topics meant that some jokes were quickly lost - and some didn’t appear to even be completed. Where he may succeed with his amiable personality, he may falter with his execution and delivery of the occasional punch line.
Friendly and funny, Ben is a likeable comedian whose witty observations on the ludicrous nature of everyday life are relatable and lighthearted.
By Tamara Davison