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Show type: Melbourne 2010
Peter Berner: Binge Thinker
There are dark forces at work...mostly inside the brain of Peter Berner.
See this legend of Australian stand-up when he returns in Binge Thinker.
His style has been called paint stripper for the mind - hysterically funny Peter is at his best when he is poking us all with a very sharp and pointy stick.
While Peter is in demand as a TV presenter, radio broadcaster and cartoonist it's time to see him in his natural habitat...alone and talking out loud.
Book now to see Binge Thinker - definitely more than two standard drinks...and there're only three shows - so book now!
Peter Berner: Binge Thinker
Peter Berner has been a fixture on the comedy scene here for well over a decade, with TV and radio credits galore, and that fact shows in his return to stand-up.
It shows in the experience he has to engage an audience and keep them listening; but it also shows in material that plays it safe to the point of hackneyed.
The first time you hear a comic talk about the futility of putting whistles on aircraft life-jackets, it feels fresh and funny. Yes, it is a stupid idea: if you don’t hear the plane crash, you’re unlikely to hear a tiny whistle. But countless comedians regurgitate this line now, and its long lost its interest.
Berner trots through that routine, alongside the tired ‘what’s the deal with…’ bit about stowing your tray tables. Note to Route One comics everywhere: it’s probably to do with getting rid of extraneous edges, and making it easier to evacuate the aircraft in an emergency. It is not connected to the flight deck. Thank you.
There are similarly easy jokes about terrorists with hooks for hands, and paedophile priests, while topical stories are used as segueways into simple observational material, rather than offering any insight into the news. For example, mentioning the recent re-election of South Australian premier Mike Rann allows him to mention allegations he had sex on his office table, and from there it’s only a short step to material about cheap Ikea furniture and its zany Swedish names.
It’s not all so straightforward, as Berner shows a nicely selfish streak when he surmises that we ‘don’t need everyone’ in the world, so some deaths shouldn’t be mourned, while he has a nice barbed-but-silly line about Apple boss Steve Jobs. There’s a sharpness, and sometimes a bright opinion, in some of these sections that is sadly lacking elsewhere.
For a show called Binge Thinker, it’s ironic that Berner’s main shortcoming is that he doesn’t think enough, too often going down easy trains of thought rather than using the obvious rapport he has with his audience as purchase for more challenging – or at the very least, more interesting – material.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 14th Apr, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
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