He’s performing at Melbourne International Comedy Festival until Sunday April 18.
Ben Kochan is a silly guy. There is a playful innocence in his silliness which is quite refreshing for a dude from Sydney with a moustache. His comedy reminds you of a simpler time when slapstick gags and dad jokes were the bee’s knees. He looks like a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman who actually uses the term “bee’s knees” to describe things he thinks are good.
Kochan is an instantly-likeable guy, and even though his act is a 50/50 split of winners and cringeworthy fails, he handles it all like a champ which makes the show even more enjoyable. In fact, the cringeworthy moments may very well be part of the joke.
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Here is where Kochan gets a bit of a pass. We were asked to sit in the front row (because no one does), which placed my seat right in front of Kochan, also known as the “audience participation seat”. This led to the following exchange:
“What’s your name?”
“What do you do for a living, Luke?”
“I’m a writer”
“What do you write?”
“At the moment, a review for this show”
To be fair, that’s enough to throw an up-and-coming comedian off their game, but Kochan handled it like a pro. He even helped me write the review by offering the following lines during his act:
“Boy, that comedian sure is handsome and has a very large penis. Best show with a ball and bat I’ve ever seen.”
The real review goes like this…
Kochan offers a mix of stories and prop comedy, with gags that have longer set ups than they do good punchlines, but that may be somewhat the point. He asks the audience to revel in the awkwardness and almost seems prepared for jokes to fail with a follow-up joke that is very much planned about said fail. It is entertaining and cute as he embraces his embarrassment while pointing out a few humorous observations about men’s lingerie, Uber drivers, sex and his mother.
In an age where comedy is either very clever, bordering on strong social satire, or downright ridiculous, encouraging you to forget about life for a while, Kochan sits somewhere in-between. While he isn’t the greatest, he is definitely worth the ticket price. Catch what is left of his shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for a chuckle and head shake.
Ben Kochan is performing at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2021 from Thursday to Sunday until Sunday April 18. Grab tix here.