Lawrence Mooney Is A Stupid Liar | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review by Steve Bennett

Lawrence Mooney Is A Stupid Liar

Note: This review is from 2014

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review by Steve Bennett

Comedy’s oldest tradition is to mock the human body; that for all the civilisation and decorum we present to the world, we are base creatures who shit and fart and wank and fuck – an essential hypocrisy which it is the fool’s job to mock.

Well, that’s a high-falutin theory that explains the perennial appeal of dick jokes. And that’s precisely what Lawrence Mooney has brought to this comedy festival table.

He’s the simple-minded, lazy male dolt who wants his beer and a simple life, even though he’s prone to stupid things. He’s the sort of Homer Simpsony bloke who can’t be left alone with a beard trimmer, as he’s sure to use it on his pubes.

Mooney heads impulsively below the belt when given a comedy show, too. This is pretty much an hour of dirty observations, garnished with a sprig of ‘men and women are different’ shtick, moaning back at the wife who’s ruining all his fun and who, in turn, believes all men are the stupid liars of the title. No wonder, if her husband is the yardstick  as he would probably admit, with more than a flick of self-awareness.

His is a reactionary standpoint for an hour of rather old-school comedy – though to be fair he’s updated the mother-in-law gags for father-in-law ones. For my tastes, the 48-year-old doesn’t bring enough new or particularly unique to the familiar territories of ageing, primal urges and using public toilets. His sizeable audience, bolstered by his TV appearances, would disagree, as his gross-out gags certainly get the laughs. But for all the filth, the best routines are about eating honeycomb and a pleasingly nonsensical segment about alternative uses for the ball sack, which evokes a memorably bizarre image.

He has a likeable drinking buddy persona, honed over years of live comedy, that lies midway between naughty imp and unreconstructed blokiness. The stories are identifiable to a sizeable constituency, even if they are a little crass.

Although there’s a small sense that he’s a little appalled at himself and his body, more vulnerability and more sophistication in his approach to the material might give the show more depth – but possibly less mainstream appeal, too.

Review date: 12 Apr 2014
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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