With enough chocolate poo jokes to inspire a health kick and a collection of ‘so wrong it’s funny’ quips to make you suspect he’s your father in disguise, Simon Keck’s Nob Happy Sock balances confronting, crude and uplifting elements in this tale of depression, suicide and fridge magnets.
Mental health and comedy are precarious bedfellows. But Keck (winner of the 2013 Melbourne Comedy Festival Golden Gibbo) keeps his undeservingly small crowd engaged by discussing his ‘inner Sherpa’, the importance of asking for help, and laughing at your own failure, dispersed with the obligatory (but relevant and not overdone) bodily function and sex jokes.
The brutal reality of Keck’s battle with his ‘slow, crawling, suburban depression’—including panic attacks, alcohol habits, and suicidal ideation culminating in an attempt—saves his message from becoming a clichéd pep talk.
Keck builds up to the suicide, styling it as a morbid comedy of errors that partially filters his frank discussion of methodology but highlights the difference between surviving and living life. This is also where the until-now random fridge comes into its own, revealing the origins of the show’s title and the importance of investing in decent magnets.
Nob Happy Sock is playing 20 September to 5 October at theMelbourne Fringe Festival.
Georgie Moore is on Twitter @gemoo4.