Adam Hills: Happy Feet Perrier nominee

Note: This review is from 2002

Review by Steve Bennett

You've gotta love Adam Hills.

Supremely friendly and infectiously enthusiastic, he gets audience on his side within seconds - with even the most reticent of viewers willingly swept along with the tide of good humour emanating from the stage.

It's a symbiotic relationship, too. Such a perfectly-primed audience naturally wants to contribute, and their open answers provide Hills with plenty of raw material from which to weave his comedy.

And he maximises that potential, his quick mind always coming up with the right gag for the occasion, thanks to his brilliant ability to think on his feet. Or rather, foot.

For Hills is a monoped, with an artificial right foot. It's not something he has really talked about on stage before, as he says it hasn't affected his life - and that means he does so with a light, matter-of-fact manner.

This is not a tale of struggle against his disability (though Hills prefers the more exciting term 'mutant'), but rather an excellent excuse for some fantastically funny anecdotes - and a catalogue of foot-related puns, naturally.

It's a topic that could be tackled mawkishly or tastelessly, but Hills's gift is that he can talk about anything and keep it upbeat.

In another fabulous segment of this show, he talks about the real fear following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Yet he still manages to be flippant and light-hearted, without any question of causing offence.

Such an easy manner belies some clever thinking. Though chatty, the show is cleverly structured, flowing effortlessly and often calling back on previous gags (even previous shows) for fresh punchlines.

An Adam Hills performance is always a joyous occasion, but this is his finest show yet. Sheer brilliance from start to finish.

Review date: 1 Jan 2002
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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