Tommy Little: Sex, Drugs And Herbal Tea

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

So it’s not the most elegant title, but Sex, Drugs And Herbal Tea sums up a key theme of Tommy Little’s stand-up; that he may think he’s influenced by the gritty hip-hop he loves, but is, in fact, a pampered white-collar twentysomething whose biggest concern is pulling a prank on his best mate.

Seeming younger than his 28 years, he perfectly captures the carefree vibe of an almost-adult, bending with every city fad, while secretly wondering if he’ll ever settle down, with mortgage, wife and kids. Then he reflects that life back at a wildly appreciative audience who are largely drawnfrom a similar demographic.

But his infectious joie de vivre and authentic, upbeat tales means he has plenty of appeal beyond his peers. He’s well aware of his immaturity, which manifests itself in getting involved in a ‘yo momma’-style battle of wits with a ten-year-old (and coming off worst), embarrassing his friend by posing as his gay lover, or making a double-entendre out of every item in the bakery.

The room is a cynicism-free zone for the hour, as he bundles through a celebration of everything that comes into his radar. If he’s going to take a pop at bogans, it’s done with the teasing affection of best buddies, not a sneer. The most negativity he can muster is a sort of ‘what the hell was that all about?’ as he spotlights the flaws in Monopoly as a children’s game. Yes, that’s as political as he gets.

The spirits are kept high with easy interactions with the audience, which don’t always yield comic gold but add to the fluid, natural atmosphere of a show in which this hugely personable comedian seems to be just shooting the breeze, spinning a few bar-room yarns.

But behind that easy smile, he turns out to be a formidable storyteller, and the room hangs on his every cheeky word, especially at his climactic tale in which he drunkenly suggests making a bogus marriage proposal to a friend, just to secure some free booze from the notoriously sleazy Melbourne karaoke club where they ended up.

The laughs come not quite at his own expense, but at the ridiculous situations he often finds himself in, as a result of uses his ample free time purely to entertain himself. Luckily, it turns out to be mighty entertaining for us, too.

Review date: 12 Apr 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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