Tim Batt does a good thing. But, off the batt, I wasn’t convinced. You walk into a dark room with a very bright couch, a high school desk, a television, an obnoxious sound set-up, and bright neon-ish lighting. If you sit in the front row, you may feel slightly nervous about what is about to take place.
Very quickly you learn that the couch is not just a regular couch, but a talking couch, and not just a talking couch, but a talking Soviet couch. Yes, the whole thing was wack. But, something about Tim Batt won my heart over pretty quickly. I am not sure if it was the 90s all-white tuxedo, the vegan-thin-physique, the kind eyes, or that his wife is a doctor (love a man in a subordinate position in society).
Tim, Disasteradio (there is much truth in the name), and Space Couch welcome their first guest, Ray Shipley. By golly are they a treat. Ray was truly and utterly her loveable, awkward self on that talking Soviet couch. Ray told some funnies, which had me in stitches. And then, things got weird.
Dog collars. That’s right, Disasteradio, and Batt both decide to attach electric dog collars (set on the highest level possible!) to their necks, while Shipley asks them questions, and whoever answers wrong… well, you can guess what happens. Don’t get me wrong, it makes for good entertainment! She’s definitely not a sadomasochist because you could tell she extremely apologetic about inflicting pain through dog collars, which was where the comedy really was.
The 2nd guest was Chloe Swarbrick. Equally such a treat! But, for different reasons than Shipley. Swarbrick and Batt dive right into a genuine discussion of Swarbrick’s journey into politics with anecdotes of her ins and outs of entering that world. And, although it was a comedy show, I deeply appreciated Swarbricks ability to show up; there was no facade behind which she hid. She sat on that Soviet couch and shared her true self with us. “What’s the point of doing anything if you don’t try,” she said of her determination to run in the 2017 election as a local Greens MP. Now that’s the kind of woman we want in our political system.
I liked the fact that the talk show truly felt live. It appeared both guests showed up with no idea what they had signed up for. There was nothing contrived or scripted about their appearances. That takes a lot of bravery as a show host, and a guest star. My hats of to people and performers who can step into the unknown in front of an audience.
In, conclusion I am in full support of Tim Batt becoming an official television show host, but preferably without Space Couch (unless of course, Space Couch got a better voice, that cacophonous sound did not do it for me). Ultimately, it was a well-executed show. The audience enjoyed the show. I enjoyed the show. Thumbs up from me. And, even if you don’t enjoy the comedy, you can appreciate Tim’s lean-vegan-bod in an all-white tux, and maybe one day he will surprise us with an NSYNC performance… a girl can dream.
What: Space Couch
When: 15-18 May (Auckland), 21-25 May (Wellington)