It was a mild Wednesday night, as I made my way to the Vault at Q Theatre to see another Billy T nominee in the final week of the comedy fest, on this occasion James Malcolm, with his latest show Fameless, which is an examination of what it’s like to be on the cusp of being a C-list celebrity.

The temperature sat at a standard 17ºC, something that seems to be a running theme this comedy fest, although it did feel more like 16ºC. It was partly cloudy, which combined with the 91% Humidity, contributed to the 60% chance of rain, in the tense “will they, wont they.” between the rising moist air and the cooler air sitting patiently in the sky.

As we made my way into the Vault, we were greeted by pleasant pink lighting accompanied by some mellow dance music, the mood was relaxed, crowd at ease for a great hour of comedy.

The lights went down, the show starting with a compilation of audio recordings, snippets of TV and radio related to James Malcolm and his show last year “Marry Me, Chris Warner.” Introducing the major focus of the show, James Malcolm and his status as an almost celebrity. This was a pretty cool effect and the opening segment also provided foreshadowing, hinting at what was to come later, setting up for a number of well timed call backs. This was followed by a rap, detailing Malcolm’s life since last years show, this rap contained some very funny lines, some serving as a vocal beat down to his gripes and frustrations.

The bulk of the show was pure stand up, a combination of Malcolm’s own experiences, in the form of stories and observations. Detailing his status as someone who is almost a C-list celebrity, and how this affects his life and relationships, including attempts to attain greater fame, through a celebrity feud, or an infamous selfie that made international news.  He also examines stereotypes associated with gay men and the media’s depiction of them.

A large portion of the show is a candid look into Malcolm’s sex life, and the various situations he has found himself in while in the dating pool. This may turn off some who do not like explicit descriptions of sexual acts, although if the nature of the sexual acts is the only thing that bothers you, try to remember it’s 2018 for god sake.

Fameless is an excellent hour of stand-up, it is wonderfully personal, with a tint of social commentary. James Malcolm is endearing in how earnest he is, baring himself in explicit detail, the cynicism of his outlook wonderfully juxaposed against his lighthearted delivery.

I would recommend this show to fans of comedy that is revealing, as well as comedy related to celebrity culture.


What: Fameless

Who: James Malcolm

When: 7PM, 15 – 19 May

Where:  The Vault

NZ International Comedy Festival In Review: Fameless - James Malcolm
Billy T Nominee James Malcolm gives an in depth look into his life as someone who is almost a minor celebrity, and celebrity culture in general in Fameless.
  • Wonderfully candid and ernest
  • Fantastic ending (no spoilers)
  • Eye-wateringly funny
8.7Overall Score
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