Review: Tom Ballard’s potty-mouthed political satire was a poignant pisser in ‘Enough’

Review: Tom Ballard’s potty-mouthed political satire was a poignant pisser in ‘Enough’

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Words by Kate Streader


Known for his dry wit and political satire, Tom Ballard’s Enough revels in the mess that is the current political climate. Opening by targeting the ABC, who recently made him redundant by cancelling Tonightly with Tom Ballard, the comedian made it abundantly clear that sweating his way through hour-long stand-up sets wasn’t quite where he hoped to be at 29.

Anyone not at least partially invested in Australian politics would have quickly found themselves lost as Ballard took aim at Barnaby Joyce, Justin Milne, Kevin Bailey and Scott Morrison. Recounting an incident in which a Tonightly guest called Bailey a cunt on live TV, eliciting an Australian Communications and Media Authority report which mentioned the cuss-word 54 times, was enough to render the audience hysterical.

A particular sore spot surfaced when it came to Pauline Hanson, who Ballard noted has somehow managed to become more controversial since he wrote a joke about her mere months ago. However touchy the subject, most crowd members gave this bit the hearty laugh it was due.

What began as a political rant soon became anti-capitalism propaganda in which Ballard even blamed the economic system for why he isn’t getting laid. Not only did he raise some pretty agreeable points during this riff, Ballard even managed to marry anti-capitalism ideals with an anecdote about letting one rip in a stranger’s face in what may be the most intelligent – and lengthiest – fart joke ever told.

The unyielding energy of his quick wit was enough to bolster the Wednesday late-night crowd so much so that the brief intervals where Ballard sipped from his bottle of water brought eerily silent breaks in the otherwise constant wall of laughter.

A spokesman of sorts for the younger generation and left-wing idealists, the Baby Boomers were next on Ballard’s hit list, bringing everything from a painstakingly accurate My Chemical Romance impersonation to the not-so-subtle suggestion that the generation should hurry up and die out.

Towards the tail end of the show, Ballard got somewhat serious for a brief moment, though still weaving jokes in at every opportunity. Though his, at times, ridiculous comedy had him admitting it would be a long hour, finding ourselves already saying goodnight felt all too sudden. Ballard may feel woeful kissing his $200K per annum job at the ABC goodbye in exchange for working an hour a day doing stand-up, but the audience certainly weren’t complaining about their end of the bargain.

Highlight: A particularly timely bit about Catholic priests.

Lowlight: It was at least 40 degrees in Melbourne Town Hall.

Crowd favourite: The fart joke.

Tom Ballard’s Enough is running until Sunday April 21 (bar Mondays) as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Grab your tickets via the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website.