Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

Jake Lambert opens his show with some lighthearted audience interaction and a series of jokes about finding himself out of his depth at a cowboy ranch, where his one-liners fall flat with the owner. He gets a big laugh out of noting that the ranch was the only place where literal tumbleweed blew past after one of his jokes failed. Overall, Lambert has a likeable stage presence that elevates what in other comedian’s hands would be fairly generic material. In particular, his recounting of how a prank on his flatmate went awkwardly wrong turns the event into a sitcom-worthy narrative that gets the audience laughing in all the right places.

However, this charisma can only go so far, with Lambert’s other material concerning the differences between his more neurotic personality and the self-confidence of his Australian girlfriend feeling somewhat surface-level, which his acknowledgement of being unable to open up doesn’t help. Material involving the couple’s decision to not have children does show potential, with Lambert using the criticism of this decision at a dinner party to take a few potshots at the host’s veganism.

However, even these jokes feel like a missed opportunity as Lambert pulls his punches by not taking his criticisms further. This restraint extends to the whole show, with Lambert’s material feeling somewhat generic and bland, with any potential for the jokes to be taken to another comedic level sadly squandered. Lambert’s inclusion of short advert parodies is another example of him settling for overly-simplistic jokes that simply repeat the punchlines previously heard in earlier material.

Never Mak the Same Mistak Twice isn’t a bad show by any means, with Lambert’s gregarious and genial stage presence making the audience feel at home and compensating for some of the thinness of his material. However, this still isn’t enough to sustain a consistent level of quality for the rest of the show.