Wormhole of Funny: Blast Off! at Hermann’s Bar

Ben Clarke is a thoughtless appendage of the superconsciousness Greebox

Last Wednesday, on the distant planet of Hermann’s Bar, an intergalactic-themed comedy show had a full house in stitches, absorbing us into a wormhole of funny, random and at times ear-splittingly horrifying content. Blast Off! marks the first of this semester’s monthly comedy shows hosted by the Idiot Box team, joined by an assortment of guest comedians, and I feel the need to draw USyd’s attention to a corner of campus life that might be due more attention and funding than it’s getting. The makeshift cardboard cut-outs of planets that “pass” for decoration simply will not do. Thankfully the acts themselves and the fine hosting skills of Lazer Spacegood (definitely not Ciaran Magee) were enough to carry us through.

The evening began mundanely enough, with the deafening of the unwarned audience by a charming rendition of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The intro set the tone for the night, which would continue to provide slightly perturbing hilarity that rang true to the alienish theme.  Despite  first stand-up,  Aaron “I’ve Been To Primary School” Chen, nothaving been informed of the theme, he managed to capture the audience’s attention immediately, and take them on an out-of-this-world adventure through his encounters with a George Street thug, a hyper-intelligent cockroach and every variety of rice the audience could name.

Julia Robertson and Hugh Guest provided the “awww”s of the night with their own interplanetary songs of love, loss and parricide, which would be matched later by the Rihanna-rivalling tones of Sarah Gaul and her desire to have her ex “make like a shooting star”. The audience was gasping for oxygen by the end of Cyrus Bezyan’s “not funny, but special” stand up routine (which his neighbours and boss hopefully will never hear), in which he took the “space” theme as far, as literally, and as awkwardly as he could.

And who could forget the sketches? Idiot Box gave us a number of wondrously disgusting ensemble numbers, beginning with the definitely not spacist Patrick Morrow’s successful opening of a riveting Intergalactic Council session. We came face-to-face with former astronaut Eliza Owen, whose nostalgia for her space glory days saw her jettisoning excrement into “the airlock” (the cupboard under the stairs). This was followed by a retelling of Blade Runner which saw Roy Batty (Alex Richmond) fling a vibrating dildo into the sky, rather than a dove—just as Ridley Scott wanted it. After time traveller Julia Robertson tried to explain the iPhone to medieval peasants, Lazer Spacegood’s indoctrination of the audience into his hive-mind cult brought the show its dystopian conclusion.

Confused? So was I. But last week, Blast Off! provided an eager audience with even more humour than they’d bargained for. You won’t miss me at next month’s show, and I hope to see even more comedy-loving students in attendance … that is, if we aren’t subsumed by the superconsciousness Greebox first.