In a rescheduled Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 season, unfortunately postpone due to Covid, Max Paton has done something that very rarely happens. He’s made me really enjoy a sketch comedy show.
When I say ‘enjoyed’, I really mean that. I was laughing constantly during every sketch, and some were so silly, but my god, did they made me laugh. As I was laughing and having a great time, it felt like Paton was too. He was 100% committed to making his audience laugh and for those that were already laughing, to laugh harder. The tricky thing about sketch comedy is having every sketch be funny, maybe not all of them will be hilarious, but every sketch needs to be humorous, and Paton has achieved this.
Max Paton’s song about ducks that lead into an adventure in a Bunnings Warehouse was my favourite and the also audience’s favourite of the night. Dressing up in a duck costume and having the correct duck anatomy could be something awkward that would inspire awkward chuckles, but Paton created a real joyful moment for his audience.
For every sketch, Paton was 100% committed to “the bit” going so far as to having blood capsules in his mouth for a skit or giving the audience plastic balls for a skit about being prepared for anything. Just in the second that there was a bowl of plastic balls being given to the audience to be used for later had the recipe for things go wrong. As expected, within seconds there were plastic balls being thrown and flying everywhere. It’s just something so ridiculous and yet somehow, Paton maintained control of the situation. I believe was due to Paton’s likable personality, and the audience wanting to have fun with him and not at his expense.
Now I’ve already mentioned ‘The Duck Song’, that came back around again with a magic show with ducks, ducks on cards, ducks in hats, ducks in little boxes… I am aware that in writing this doesn’t sound particularly funny. But trust me, I had stomach pains from how much I was laughing. The way that Paton performs is with absolute love for what he does, and this love is solidified by the sound of laughter coming from the audience. The sketches had a niche quality to them, like a level of silliness that reminded me of Monty Python. This is a big statement and huge compliment, but honestly, the way that Paton executed his concepts was effortless, and they were silly, but they never came across as stupid.
It has been a long time since I’ve laughed the way I did when I was watching Max Paton’s Big Funny. But this is because Paton has an irresistible infectious charm and persona where he wants you to laugh at him. The humour that he has isn’t malicious, the characters in the skits aren’t a parody of any minority groups that have any maliciousness behind it. Instead, what we have are just wonderful creations that Paton has manifested.
My biggest takeaway from leaving Big Funny is that the name of the show reigns true. Wholesome comedy thankfully still exists in the likes of Max Paton, where the only target of the jokes is the comedian.
Max Paton is performing Big Funny at The Motley Bauhaus from the 30th of June to the 9th of July.
For more information and ticketing, pop on over to the links below: