Local boy turned traitorous Melbournian, Pat McCaffrie returns to his home ground with his brand new show, Pat Riot. After brilliant shows in 2016 and 2017, this year we get another solid performance, albeit with a slightly different focus to previously sets.
Pat’s quick wit and intelligent commentary remains the same, although this year there seems to be less emphasis on the political jokes, and after the ridiculous antics of the last twelve months, this feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. But with every other comedian and his dog covering this subject matter, it’s fair enough to try something a bit more original.
The rest of the material – and even the non-material at the beginning – is still entertaining and worth some solid laughs, as he draws from anecdotes from his life and self-depreciation gags that are hallmarks of Australian comedy. There are perhaps a few too many easy jabs at Arts grads, which I’ve already heard a lot of at this Fringe and it gets less funny each time, but this is somewhat salvaged from his own admission of being an Arts grad. Still, no one gets points for poking low-hanging fruit (I don’t need to be reminded of my job prospects, thanks). It’s as funny as jokes about Adelaide, which thankfully were not a feature in this show. The most memorable jab was at Sydney’s expense, which I think we can all agree is always fair game.
Overall, while I personally enjoyed last year’s show better, this is still a solid performance. Stand up is a hard gig. Even the best have shows which don’t quite land as well as others. My favourite jokes were those about everyone’s favourite adulterer Barnaby Joyce, which, yes, is low-hanging fruit at this stage but as a hypocritical douchebag with far too much power, he will always be a worthy subject of mockery.
It’s easy to overlook the up-and-comers in the wide sea of Big Name Comedians at the Fringe, but you’d be missing a great deal of talent if you do, and this show is no exception. A good comedian can be hard to find, but you can definitely find one in Pat McCaffrie.
Words by Simone Corletto.
Pat McCaffrie: Pat Riot is performing at the Producers until March 2 (except Feb 26). Tickets available here.