Adam Hills: Cut Loose

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

Adam Hills is probably the most loveable comic on the planet. His genuine passion, good nature and optimism enthuse any audience, however jaded, and no matter what the subject matter. With his enviable knack to make you feel good about yourself and others, he's the comedy equivalent happy pills.

Increasingly, though, he's adding substance to his feelgood froth. Last year's show, Happy Feet, touched on September 11, and this one has a stunning routine about October 12, the day of the Bali bomb.

Not that this represents a move towards the dark or the maudlin. Hills instinctively reacts to death by further celebrating life, making this stunning routine as uplifting as it is touching. He'd be great at writing eulogies.

The focus of his celebration is the ideal of Aussieness - not only the tolerance and affability that he personifies, but also the aboriginal heritage and natural wealth that British settlers did so much to damage.

On some levels, he's just playing with broad national stereotypes, but that simply provides an accessible way into his more punchier material.

But while there are plenty of big issues, carefully considered and tackled with a deft touch, the first third of the show isn't crafted at all - simply good-natured off-the-cuff audience banter.

He's abandoned the structured audience interaction he's previously employed, such as recruiting punters for a boy band or a Jerry Springer reconstruction, instead opting for straightforward, unregimented chats.

And it cannot be down to pure luck that he finds such rich humour here. The audience's responses may appear to be funnier than him, thanks to their smart and witty replies, but it takes a special kind of catalyst to channel this.

But the punters aren't doing all the work. Hills proves himself lightning-fast when he's put on the spot.

The message of the night, as always, is a life-affirming one. In short, he rocks!

Review date: 1 Jan 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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