The self-styled “boundary-pushing” shock comic makes his Fringe debut at Gilded Balloon, promising to finally say what all the straight white guys are thinking. What we get is a muddled hour of low energy outrage, nationalistic sledging and toilet-themed reminiscences about his Croatian Granny.
After recently opening for that other potty-mouthed Aussie rascal Jim Jeffries and winning an Adelaide Comedian of the Year gong, you’d expect to be nailed on for a raucous hour of back-to-basics straight white guy lolz, right? Well, not exactly.
Opening with an observational zinger on the Fringe’s over-abundance of drag queens making him “feel like gay guys felt in the 70s” before following up with “bed covered in crisp crumbs and bodily fluids” shenanigans – hey, we’ve all been there – you’d reckon it was a case of so far, so normal.
But there’s a problem – Gill doesn’t seem fully committed to that kind of material. Maybe it’s the way it’s delivered (unconvincingly) or the fact that he’s obviously too well read and just too bloody nice to carry off the pastiche of some boorish bush drongo spitting obscenities out the back of a Ute.
Riddled with cynicism from the futile pursuit of “yachts, Rolexes and Victoria’s Secret models” and having retreated to the welcoming lap of the U.S., too much of the set’s energy is sponged up with grumbling about why he isn’t as happy as he could be or banging on about being skint. It’s a helluva weird way to do this kind of comedy and, ultimately, comes off as a kind of spiritless Jeffries-lite.
It’s a shame because the middle of the show is where he seems at his strongest, comparing the sickening positivity in The Land of the Free with his true inner voice and those of his piss-taking mates back home, or deconstructing the anxiety epidemic via his debased internet browsing habits.
Who hurt Amos Gill? I don’t know – I don’t think he knows. What we do know is he has to decide on whether he’s a foul-mouthed fuckboi farmer’s son from the outback of Oz or a cynical ex-lawyer fluffing his American city Bros from the standup circuit. It’s that simple.
Will the real Amos Gill please stand up?