Barry Morgan's World Of Organs

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

This might come as news to you, but the word organ can be a euphemism for the penis, which – brace yourself – could potentially give rise to rude double meanings of perfectly innocent phrases. That’s the one joke around which Barry Morgan’s show has been constructed… and darn me if he doesn’t make full use of it. His Hammond Aurora Classic might have 64 presets but this offering has only one: the cheesy double entendre.

It’s delivered with gallons of kitsch lounge-lizard charm, making Morgan more entertaining that he has any right to be. The character – the creation of musician Stephen Teakle – certainly doesn’t have too many layers of complexity. With his safari suit, white loafers, enough bling to sink a battleship, luxuriant moustache, ‘man-waved’ hair and teeth whiter than the keys on his instrument, he sups Campari between plugs for his shop in Adelaide’s Sunnyside Mall. There’s something of Dame Edna’s endearing suburban camp about his mannerisms, but none of the searing wit, just gregarious charm.

Other than the saucy puns – the organ has settings called ‘pluck’ and ‘sax’ to offer potential for more of the same – the main joke is the shit-eating grin Morgan adopts as he belts out another demonstration number on his trusty Hammond cameras capturing his every keystroke in close-up on the screens either side of the stage.

The six-year-olds in the audience love it when he peers too closely into the camera, distorting his features – and there are shades of the ‘wacky’ uncle trying too hard to entertain throughout the show. There’s no structure to proceedings, either, just one corny tune after another on the Hammond, the Seventies answer to Garage Band.

It would be churlish to deny the fun that plenty of this Saturday-night crowd were having with the jaunty music and Seventies showmanship, but it has very little to do with comedy. He’s a warm, engaging, eager-to-please charmer – and for five, maybe ten, minutes, he’s great fun. But after 50, my enthusiasm had long evaporated.

Reviewed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 2011

Review date: 1 Jan 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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