Wil Anderson Live: Wilarious
Critic's corner

Wil Anderson Live: Wilarious

18 October 2012 | 7:30 am

He’s the king of TV and podcast comedy, but how well does one of Australia’s favourite comedian’s live show stand up?

Before the show, Wil Anderson meanders around, glassy-eyed, sporting a comically enormous set of silver headphones. He seems entranced; perhaps he’s on the receiving end of some pre-show positive affirmation audio, or maybe some soothing panpipe music.

As it turns out, he’s eavesdropping. During his act, Anderson reveals that the headphones are merely a prop for public verbal perving. He listens in. He takes notes. Six months down the track, you might be his favourite joke. This fascination with human interaction and society at large eventually becomes part of his uproarious observations. This year, they’re known collectively as “Wilarious”.

And Wilarious it was. His audience, though dedicated, are discerning and never fawning. The laughs are unending, but it’s not because we’re generous or forgiving. It’s because he tickles our funny bones with the deft skill of a wicked imp, and all the subtlety of a slap in the mouth with a raw pork chop.

What sets Anderson apart from his peers is not simply that he’s funnier (there are many in his ranks who just as masterfully reduce their audience to gibbering messes) – it’s the ideology that infuses his craft. Far from being preachy, he is nevertheless didactic. Folks leave with both laughter-induced injuries (leaking bladders and ruptured spleens are common) and food for thought.

His thoughts and reckonings are gratefully received. He keeps returning to a Gandhi quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, and it’s clear that he’s mindful of that in his everyday existence. Applause.

On a vast spectrum of philosophical ponderings to hysterical anecdotes is a smattering of penis jokes that this clever comedy Jesus has somehow woven into crass social parables. There are several of these gags, but if you pay close attention, Anderson is doing very clever things with those various penises.

It’s refreshing for such a prominent media personality to be simultaneously down to earth, altruistic and dangerously funny (and prone to spontaneous eruptions of Gangnam Style). Thinkers love him, as do drinkers and fans of the ridiculous. Your Nan might not enjoy him so much; Fred Nile should cast a very wide berth. But ultimately he’s the guy to see if you’re a fan of funny.


Want to win free tickets to Wil Anderson’s latest show?

Live4 has two double passes to give away for the Wilarious show at the Sydney Comedy Store on Friday the 26th of October (worth $80 per double pass). The show starts at 7pm – only enter if you will be able to get there!

To enter, tell us in 25 words or less what your favourite live comedy moment was and why. Type your entry into the comment field below to enter.

Entries close at 9pm on Monday the 22nd of October.

The Editor of Live4 will choose his two favourite entries (try to say something amusing to bring a smile to his face on a Monday morning), and the two winners will be contacted via email. 

Good Luck! 

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Comments (9)

  1. 9

    My favorite live comedy moment was with Adam Hills and I want to get free tickets of Wil Anderson cause I can’t go to Adam Hills show

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  2. 8

    At a Stephen K Amos show, an obnoxious Dutchman sitting directly behind me bellowed out “BLACK HUMOUR!” I nearly died when everyone turned around.

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  3. 7

    Nikki Britton’s interpretive dance to a Cyndi lauper classic – for deaf people. I laughed so hard I snorted.

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  4. 5

    Bec Hill. Her superhero show (2008?) was hilarious and we all got cheese toasties at the end. What’s not to like?

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  5. 4

    USyd Lunchtime Comedy. Matt Okine telling a story about auto-fellatio. Entire audience is both horrified and in stitches.

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  6. 3

    Russell Brand attempting to pick up my girlfriend after his show. He was only autographing his book for her but still!

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  7. 2

    Carl Barron walked onto stage “I was waiting back there getting pissed off, then I thought, if I go out, it will probably start”

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  8. 1

    during Wil’s (licensed to wil) show that just happened to be a holiday weekend i decided to take a picture. My camera flashed wil looked comically pissed and said “fuck, double demerits! sorry everyone but i just lost my license to wil”

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