Kevin Jin: Comedy Duo {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Why has it taken so long for Asian-Australian Sydney-based comedian Kevin Jin to come to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival? In his MICF debut, Kevin Jin blesses the Melbourne comedy scene with his presence in his new show – ‘Comedy Duo’.

This new show tells of Kevin’s upbringing in Australia, his relationship with his parents, and Buddhism. Dressed looking like Ke Huy Quan’s Waymond Wang in Everything All At Once, before the stories and jokes even began, patrons were each handed a coloured marble mesh fidget toy which consisted of a mesh tube that held a marble that you could roll around with your fingers. I’ve never actually seen this type of fidget toy before and I’ve been wondering where this little marble and mesh toy been all my life!?

Now that our little gifts were granted to us, it was story time with Kevin Jin. With a screen hooked up to a laptop, Jin spoke about the balance of life, the meaning behind the show name, and the bonding and trauma that made Kevin Jin who he is today. This is Kevin Jin’s absurd and very entertaining origin story. Raw and open, Jin manages to tackle topics that many would otherwise shy away from, this includes mental health and neglect, all the while maintaining a mostly straight and poker face throughout his delivery.

Kevin Jin is very, very tall though and was clearly born to stand out. Spanning from a Chinese family but growing up in a Western society in Australia, Kevin Jin had the best of both worlds but struggled with where he belonged. This is something I found I could relate to, despite being full Asian, I have different ethnicities in my blood and also struggled to fit in in my childhood. Kevin takes these emotional memory bricks that built him in his stride though. After all, these moments and memories have made him the clever comedian he is today.

My only criticism is that the venue was not ideal for Kevin’s show and that I found myself, other patrons and even Kevin, slightly distracted by the noise from the other rooms and venue patrons stomping on the staircase. This unfortunately made me lose focus and lose some dialogue of Kevin’s show.

‘Comedy Duo’ is an excellent, intelligent and a superbly well written show. Being Asian is a part of his story but it is not all of his story which is what makes this show so unique and appealing. There’s enough about both Kevin and Asian culture to impress a diverse crowd. With his carefully curated content and funny photoshopped visuals accompanying his stories on a screen, awkward and insatiably likable Kevin Jin masterfully gives us one of the most unexpected and surprising redemption arc tales we’ve ever seen at the festival. This show left me with my jaw hanging open with both shock and awe.

Considering ‘Comedy Duo’ is so great and only his Melbourne International Comedy Festival debut, I can only imagine what greatness Kevin Jin has in store for us in the not too distant future. Until then, comedian enthusiasts would be wise to catch this story of vindication before this show and Kevin Jin disappear back to Sydney. Until then, I will happily wait for his return and will continue playing with my little mesh fidget toy that I was very pleased to take home.

Kevin Jin is currently performing ‘Comedy Duo’ at The Dove Club as part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until April 21.
For more information and ticketing, visit:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2024/shows/comedy-duo
https://www.instagram.com/kevinjincomedy

Photography supplied.

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