Guy Montgomery has reached a new level

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Guy Montgomery has reached a new level

Guy Montgomery
Words by Staff Writer

Before back-to-back sold-out nights at Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday night, Guy Montgomery offered a languid introduction, as he waited "for his heart rate to slow down".

While comedians en masse have struggled to sell out venues for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival as the cost-of-living crisis affects the cultural economy, Guy Montgomery is proving to be the exception to the rule.

We witnessed him perform Over 50,000,000 Guy Fans Can’t Be Wrong to a packed house at Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday at 7 pm, followed by another sold-out performance at 10 pm of Guy-Mont Spelling Bee at the same venue.

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The latter had a panel format, with John Kearns, Anne Edmonds, Anirban Dasgupta, and Fern Brady marvelling at the size of the audience. Anirban remarked that it was more people than he had played to during the entire festival. Guy cheekily stated that for him, this was just a typical Saturday night.

Guy-Mont Spelling Bee has now become a trans-Tasman sensation, with ABC picking up the Australian broadcasting rights for the hit Kiwi TV quiz show. The format heavily relies on Montgomery’s famed geeky humour, succeeding in large part due to the understated charisma and quick wit of its host.

Montgomery has a knack for making strange ideas work; his famed podcast “The Word Idea Of All Time” involves him reviewing the same cheesy comedy movie every week for a year, while another show sees him taking on the task of reviewing “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” every Thanksgiving for the rest of his life.

But the real secret behind Montgomery’s success is his ability to conjure rich comedic concepts. In his solo show, whether he was tackling sports, weddings, or cancel culture, you got the feeling he could have riffed for hours and was only just scratching the surface—an enviable accomplishment for any comedian with a full-length solo show.

He benefits immensely from his ability to switch fluidly between the humble voice of reason and the indignant dunce, both roles he can sell with ease. There were no cheap laughs, no punching down, and it was almost entirely clean. Yet he could tackle virtually any topic from any perspective without ever verging on controversy. Such is the clever nature of the persona he’s created.

It was the best show this scribe had seen for the entire festival, and we’ll certainly be attending his show next year. At this rate, it’ll probably be at the MCG.

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