Merciless night of comedy with an Australian icon
By Anastasia Russell-Head
The Butterfly Club’s small performance space was comfortably almost-filled on Saturday night for Australian icon, the raw and politically incorrect Austen Tayshus.
Known to many for his hit 1983 single Australiana, he is a veteran of the stand-up scene, having performed over 10,000 shows.
Taking to the stage in his trademark dark suit and shades, he proceeded to spin a web of comedic tangents, sometimes with a punchline or two thrown in for good measure.
The subjects of his humour were shown no mercy, with Jews, Muslims, South Africans, and Australians alike in the firing line.
Most of this is hilariously funny, especially his imitations of accents, which are spot-on. Some of it however, sails rather close to the wind, and in my opinion several of the Muslim jokes in particular go a bit too far.
That said, his wit is unprejudiced, and everyone is tarred with the same brush – himself, his career, even the audience, who are berated if they are not laughing enough, and teased when they laugh too much.
The audience is often a source of comedic ammunition – people’s marriages, jobs, state-of-sobriety – but no-one is offended; rather we all feel part of the joke.
Genuinely funny, clever, and an extremely engaging performer, Austen Tayshus is one-of-a-kind – catch him while and when you can.
You may even be treated to a live rendition of Australiana if you’re lucky!
Austen Tayshus: The Merchant of Menace played at The Butterfly Club Nov 5 2011.