When comedians band together to perform stand-up at gala events, the money raised is usually donated to charities and NGO’s, however, tonight they were raising money for one of their own.
During this year’s annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adrian Cherubin, who has been the festival’s technical director for twenty years suffered a stroke.
A select handful of some of Australia’s biggest comedians and comediennes, Wil Anderson, Carl Barron, Kitty Flanagan, Greg Fleet & Mick Moriarty, Tom Gleeson, Jeff Green, Justin Hamilton, Dave Hughes, Judith Lucy, Charlie Pickering, Denise Scott, Dave Thornton, Cal Wilson and Frank Woodley, along with MC’s Brian Nankervis and Colin Lane, banded together to raise money to assist in Cherubin’s on-going care and rehabilitation.
The tagline for the night was ‘A fundraiser for a comedy superstar you’ve probably never heard of….’ Yes, most people in the SOLD OUT crowd had probably never heard of him prior to sitting in that theatre, however you could truly see how important and cherished Cherubin is to the performers who he has helped to shape their careers.
Many of the performers thanked Adrian at the conclusion of their segment and photos of Cherubin were projected across the stage’s backdrop before the show and during intermission.
First half of the show MC, RocKwiz host Brian Nankervis kicked off the night by coaxing a female member of the audience to join him on stage. He got her doing comedic dance moves across the stage then Nankervis left instructing her to introduce him to the audience as he entered from the wing.
First comedian up for the challenge of making Cherubin proud was Dave Thornton. He entered the stage looking suave in a pair of reading-type glasses we’ve never seen him wear before. He poked fun at the audience for probably being hipster for wearing sneakers and runners; he retorted that sneakers are meant for sneaking and runners are meant for running. Earlier this year I spotted him entering a clothing store on Chapel Street. Who’s the hipster now?
Coming straight from their commitments at The Project (which has a PG rating), Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes and Charlie Pickering both voiced their relief for being able to swear on stage, adding a barrage of fucks in here and there.
Pickering’s slice of the night was the funniest and most informative act of the bunch. Pickering stated that although he works as a panellist on a television news program, the program he’s on ‘isn’t real news’. He informed the audience they would never have to watch the news again because he was going to show them what happens every day on broadcast news.
What followed was Pickering portraying a reporter in front of a ‘news scene’ saying, I’m standing here in front of this place where someone else has seen something and I have absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on behind me. The sports section was him describing a game and saying next week the same thing will happen. Entertainment was also thrown in in the form of a gay entertainment reporter. All this was packed into approximately six minutes, which was the time allocated for each performer.
As per usual Hughesy in his whiny voice praised the audience with, “You’re a great crowd.” A staple for each stand-up show he performs.
With a twenty-minute intermission halfway through, the show was stretched out to almost three hours of hilarity.
Second half of the show host Colin Lane (of Lano and Woodley fame) entered the stage stating it had been a while since he had performed stand-up. He wasn’t sure if he was any good at it anymore. However, he was able to produce laughter from the supportive audience. In the quickest introduction ever conducted, he counted to three and told the audience to yell out their name, and letting them know the show was being recorded for Adrian to view.
The beyond PG rating shenanigans didn’t stop at the Project’s hosts. Judith Lucy flashed the crowd, revealing white boy legs printed with a single Australian flag emblem. She bought the underwear from a souvenir shop because she couldn’t find a clean pair at home.
Concluding the event, Frank Woodley, in his usual shy and forgetful type act, bestowed upon us stories about watching his sister-in-law giving birth and not knowing where to stare as not to miss the actual birthing of the baby. Another story entailed aforementioned baby being humped by a family pet dog. Lano joined him on stage and Woodley polished off the night by re-enacting the dogs action on Lano’s leg.
Overall, the fundraiser was a successful night of comedy outside of the MICF, when Melbourne truly becomes the laughing city.