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Rob Hunter – Late O'Clock With Rob Hunter feat. Lehmo, Mike Wilmot & Anyone For Tennis : Melbourne Comedy Festival

Review by Sean Lynch

Rob Hunter

Rob Hunter

Mike Wilmot

There is no such thing as crossing the line in comedy, a rule of thumb which Rob Hunter takes to extremes with the return of his cult comedy show "Late O'Clock With Rob Hunter" to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

After equally delighting and appalling audiences last year, Rob Hunter and Luke McGregor (one of the most unique, yet oddly underused talents currently on the comedy scene) return to present their inanely twisted Monday night talk show.

The setup is simple : A talk show hosted by a guy who does not like talking to people and who is not very good at it. 

Isn't that just "Between Two Ferns" I hear you ask? Well, perhaps to a degree - but Shaun Micallef was doing this schtick long before Zach Galifianakis, and I'm sure someone was doing it long before Micallef, so does it really matter all that much? 

My point is, Hunter brings his own unique spin on the genre resulting in one of the most consistently enjoyable and fresh shows at the 2012 festival.

The key here is the element of surprise. Each week different guests provide a new stream of comedy - so no two shows are ever the same - and in a Festival where the majority of performers thrive on perfecting the same jokes night in night out, there is something incredibly exciting and dangerous about simply not knowing what you are in for as an audience member.

The first Late O'Clock "episode" kicked off in fine gear, leading off with some catchup banter between Hunter and the aforementioned McGregor who quite happily dwells on the "death of his Grandma". The two quickly redefine the traditional boundaries of the host / sidekick relationship and venture off into the world of uncomfortable. It's a joy to watch.

Guests this time around included radio and TV personality Lehmo, who copped some almighty zingers at the hands of Hunter's deadpan character ("It's amazing how much a performer can do in this country when they don't care about the quality of their work"), Mike Wilmot and songsters Anyone For Tennis.

Wilmot's appearance is a perfect example of the unpredictable nature of Late O'Clock with the Canadian all but derailing the planned route of the sketch, trying to turn the tables on Hunter (at one point calling him "Zach", at another point suggesting "Your character is meant to be a c**t, but you as a person are a little pr**k"). As an audience member, it was joyous to watch, like a car crash in motion. To Hunter and & McGregor's credit, they were well up to the challenge always keeping the audience guessing as to what was meant to be happening and what wasn't.

The Late O'Clock Show with Rob Hunter is one of the most enjoyable, must see experiences of the fest that demands repeated viewings.

Let's hope it's a fixture at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for many years to come.

SEE IT IF YOU'RE A FAN OF : Zach Galifianakis, The Office, Don Rickles

Rob Hunter - Late O'Clock

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