Nikki Osborne: Too Far {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As a comedian, Nikki Osborne has never been one to pull her punches. The plucky mother of two has faced controversy for some of her gags being deemed too hot for TV. But this hasn’t stopped the social media star from being willing to go that little bit further with her comedy.

I still remember seeing Osborne for the first time in 2006 on the Channel 9 late-night call-in game show, Quizmaster. For hours on end almost every night Osborne honed her improv skills and was able to adlib as host, taking calls. Something about her humour, quick wit and down to earth attitude kept me watching. The term “It’s not rocket surgery” becoming part of the public consciousness for a while.

Springboarding her notoriety into film and TV work, Osborne worked as an actress before trying her hand at writing for stand-up comedy. Since then, she has grown from strength to strength, now a regular fixture on various comedic panel shows and the host of Just For Laughs Uncut. On Instagram, her comedy skits regularly reaching 100s of thousands of views. This brings us to her 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, Too Far at Beer DeLuxe in Federation Square.

From the moment Nikki Osborne comes out on stage, she ushers the audience in as close as possible. This is an especially intimate show where Nikki invites the audience to share just as much embarrassing material of themselves and their personal lives as she does. 

Audience participation is the name of the game and with Too Far rather than just being an aside, it’s the glue which holds the hour together. Getting right into it and holding nothing back she interrogates her assembly. Normally, I’m far too shy for such an experience but Osborne’s enthusiasm is as contagious as her COVID material. Soon the whole room is joining in with some of the biggest laughs of the night being drawn from the crowd itself.

While there are set moments of the show, such as Osborne’s relationship and home-schooling headaches, it can’t be stressed just how much of her act is made up on the night. A riff she made early on based on somebody’s job, name or outfit will be a recurring gag later on. Osborne expertly being able to call back to something we’d all forgotten about while laughing at something else.

But Osborne never feels she is building her show at her audience’s expense, herself being so honest in return. The pains of turning 40 in her line of work or the highs and lows of her career are all laid bare, and of it very personal and made hilarious by her outlook, setting up a gag OnlyFans page to promote a pilot for a TV show nobody watched being a centrepiece of Too Far. Hey it’s embarrassing, but she raised so much money for a koala rescue charity, so how can she complain?!

This leads into more audience input with the question being asked, “Just how much cash would take for you to bare all online?”. Before we know it, audience members are openly revealing just how far they’d be willing to go. And make no mistake, Too Far is one hell of a raunchy show!

Nikki Osborne is an entertainer in the fullest sense of the word, poking fun at societal issues and she’s not afraid to be politically incorrect either. Even when a joke doesn’t land or part of her act doesn’t go to plan (such as noisy bar staff), she rolls with it and I absolutely love that in a comedian. I would highly recommend checking her out to see if she goes Too Far for you!

Nikki Osborne’s Too Far is currently playing at Beer DeLuxe, Federation Square as part of the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until 8th of April.
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