Nina D. Flanagan writes…

In Douchebag, Josh Thomas discusses making children cry and international exploitation, and somehow still elicits laughs rather than disgust from the audience. It is a testament to his comedic talents that he can deliver his misdeeds into your lap, while having you chortle along with him.

We can all agree that it is brave to put on a show where the central premise is telling Melbourne about the things that you have done that make you less than humanitarian of the year. Brave, and funny, but maybe not a good decision.

Thomas is the ‘boy next door’ of the comedy festival. He’s relatable and endearing and smart-alecky. So it’s incongruous to hear him talk about his smutty holidays or weird daydreams. Thomas prefaced one story with something along the lines of ‘this is not something I want you all to know about me’ and I think that was one of a few segments of the show that could have been left backstage, in favour of retaining his nice guy persona. He is quite good at telling a story, and definitely not a monster, but sometimes there are things that just don’t need to be shared.

Thomas’ strength is in the delivery, and his performance is what makes this show. He manages to present questionable material and turn it into a meandering, awkward but humorous adventure.

Thomas is oddball, engaging and likeable and he has the potential to be amazing: this show fell just short of that target, landing squarely in ‘good’. Less of the confessional element and more of the light-hearted observational humour and this show would be terrific.

Josh Thomas in Douchebag is at the Melbourne Town Hall, 8:15pm Tues – Sat, 7:15pm Sun until April 21st.

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