Dave Jory Is The Zodiac
Show type: Melbourne 2008
Two years ago, comedian Dave Jory began anonymously writing the horoscopes for a well-known magazine. He was initially doing it just for the cash, but that changed when Jory discovered he had a gift - a gift for making up lies.
How much faith can you put in your horoscopes? Are all horoscope writers this dishonest? And most importantly, what can Dave tell you about your own future? Experience the seamy underbelly of the horoscope industry with one of its premiere charlatans. Prediction? Hilarious!
Comedy festivals like shows with themes, since they make for interesting programme blurbs, even if the discipline doesn’t suit every comedian.
The result is hours like this, billed as some sort of expose of the sham that is astrology, but in reality is just a loosely connected stream of stand-up.
Sydney comic Dave Jory chose the topic as he supplements his comedy income by making up horoscopes for a magazine, and he does indeed hint at the ridiculousness of it all – though stopping way short of calling astrology an idiotic, superstitious lie to dupe the gullible, for fear of upsetting the misguided believers in the room.
But this isn’t really the point of the exercise, whatever you might be lead to believe. Instead, it’s some of Jory’s best club stand-up routines, loosely threaded together. Any story about his own life is instantly admissible, since he can couch it in terms of ‘how can I predict other people’s future when I can’t predict mine?’ while other links are more tenuous yet. A Harold Shipman routine is excused simply by mentioning that Dr Death was a Taurus.
Jory has an appealing style to him. He’s laid-back and unhurried – ideal for the 10.45pm timeslot he’s been given – and is adept at chatting to the audience, making them feel very much at home. This was vital last year, when he played in a dive of a venue, but even in the Town Hall heart of the festival, it’s a welcoming vibe.
His calm, measured delivery means the gags are never going to come fast and hard, and instead the feel is more of an engaging chat. He has some very nice anecdotes – such as the one about turning down a Pizza Hut ad that also featured in last year’s show – and a moderate-to-generous supply of lovely, well-crafted payoffs.
Some segments struggle more; that Harold Shipman routine doesn’t seem to have much of a point, rather than for him to boast about how ‘dark’ he’s being. But, like any tragedy, Shipman has already prompted a slew of jokes, so Jory’s straightforward retelling of the situation seems redundant, sometimes verging on the verbose.
But it doesn’t really affect the overall atmosphere of the show as a pleasant, relaxed way to spend an evening in good company, rather than a laugh riot. Your sides may remain intact, but you’ll have still had an enjoyable time, and possibly be ready for you cocoa afterwards.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Date of review: Apr 2008