Young Jewish comedian Michael Shafar relates stories about his life as they pertain to his girlfriend of nine years, Amanda, and his parents. They include a particularly lame “dad joke” that keeps haunting him and various body parts of his that his mother has kept. His grandmother also isn’t spared his opprobrium – all these family members covered in his show with a sense of feigned indignation.
Dressed casually, with only a microphone and a full house in front of him, Shafer engages the audience with his non-stop patter for 45 minutes. He states again and again how appreciative he is that both Jews and Gentiles have shown up. Then in his easy going manner he tackles everything from sex to racism, ISIS and kosher bacon … even happy chickens! In his hands, or should I say with his voice, he makes it all appear effortless and quickly won us over.
The 27 year-old joke writer for The Project, he has no love of doctors, whom he describes as educated but not smart. He questions how intelligent it was to put an “s” into the word “lisp”. I reckon he makes a fair point. Zamel’s the jewellers get a working over as part of his shtick about businesses with meaningless slogans.
In referencing his day job, he illustrates some of the ill-informed comments received from viewers. Such as the person who wrote in complaining that the team was prepared to get on board with the concept of banning plastic bags, but not the burka. He has heaps of fun with all of this material, as do the audience. Peels of laughter ring out regularly.
It’s not hard to see why Shafer is such a darling of the comedy circuit. He’s performed throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the US. Make no mistake, his star is on the rise.
Michael Shafer’s Kosher Bacon is on at Trades Hall as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until 22 April 2018.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- David O’Doherty (MICF) – theatre review
- Steve Bugeja (MICF) – theatre review
- The Merger (MICF) – theatre review
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television