REVIEW: Simon Taylor’s PERSONAL BEST

A personal favourite

By Christine Moffat

Upon introducing himself, Simon Taylor establishes he is a charming comedian. He is prone to serenading audience members, learning their names and chatting amiably with them from the stage. He lulls you into chuckles, and a more comfortable position in your seat. You smile, sip your drink and begin to relax. Once you are better acquainted, the content is riskier, but delivered suavely and with an infectious sense of fun.

Personal Best

Tayor is a writer as well as a performer, and has written for some big-ticket shows, including The Late Show with Jay Leno. His skill with words is crucial for his darker material to work when mixed in with his lighter banter. His fluid syntax is like good piano playing: unlike his piano playing, which is better that your uncle’s but not as good as your high school singing teacher’s. He tinkers with words to make sure they fit, to make sure you are surprised with them (a key ingredient to laughter) and to make sure you remember and think about them later.

However, Taylor’s smooth style does not mean his show is good for ‘all ages’. Your under-15s should probably do something else for the evening, unless you enjoy discussing curses and ‘adult’ concepts on the tram ride home. Taylor swears liberally when the story requires it, and writes a killer dick joke. Not despite this, but because of it, he is all the more urbane and funny.

In a storybook, Taylor would be Prince Charming’s wingman: the guy that shakes his head at his mate’s girlfriends, and goes to the State Library to pick up the geekyicious babe knitting a tea cosy. In an intimate comedy room like downstairs at The Butterfly Club, and at his Personal Best, Taylor is Prince Charming… if the prince was (a lot) shorter, had that Melbourne combination of romance and cynicism, and knew how to use hair product.

So, when you have the chance to see Taylor perform, take it. You will travel the world: discuss love, life, lust and death. You will discover just how diverse a comedy crowd can be (Antarctic honeymoon anyone?), have a bloody good time, and if you’re lucky, maybe even meet his Nonna.

Simon Taylor’s Personal Best was performed at The Butterfly Club as part of the 2015 Melbourne Comedy Festival. His next performance will be the FREE special-event, live-taping of his best stand-up comedy material on May 5: see http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/simon-taylors-stand-up-comedy-special-live-taping-tickets-16745795124 for more information and to register for attendance.

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