Familiar formula still pleases

By Bradley Storer

Celebrated Australian comedian Josh Thomas returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a new show after writing and starring in ABC’s successful new series Please Like Me. The basis of Josh’s comedy (on-screen and off) has always been based around the dissonance between his cute, awkwardly adorable persona and the messy realities of his twenty-something Gen Y male existence. This formula has not altered significantly since Josh’s last show, although there are some refreshing new changes in his story-telling choices.

Josh Thomas

The theme of the show is about the moments of Josh’s life where he has not been the best person: the ‘douchebag’ of the title. There are tales of relationship troubles, involving the inability to say ‘I love you’ and the massive arguments sparked by homeopathic medicine, an account of accidentally scaring a young girl with leukaemia, and Josh’s casual insults towards fellow travellers while hiking in Tasmania. The story which sparked the idea for the show, an impromptu journey in Thailand to find an elusive massage parlour, however turns out to be an anti-climax which is hardly mitigated by Josh admitting that even he is aware the story is inadequate.

From the very moment he walked onstage, Josh had the audience on side (which is a rare gift). Although there was a continuous stream of laughter, as well as the occasional shocked gasp, there was never a moment which made me burst out laughing uncontrollably – the laughs stayed at one level for the entire evening. This could simply be due to issues in how the show is structured, or maybe because that by the end the audience was so used to Josh’s style that there were no surprises left.

VENUE: Melbourne Town Hall – Lower Town Hall

TIME: 8:15 (7:15 Sunday)

TICKETS: Preview $25, Full Wed-Fri & Sun $33, Full Sat $35, Concession (n/a Fri & Sat) $30, Tightarse Tuesday $25, Laugh Pack (n/a Fri & Sat) $30, Group (8+, n/a Fri & Sat) $30.

BOOKING:, or Phone 1300 660 013, Melbourne Town Hall Box Office.