Here’s the thing about 2020 – there’s really nothing too dark to talk about anymore. The collective suffering of everyone through a global pandemic and being shuttered inside for an insane amount of time – alone, by the way, for me – means there comes a point where you sort of go … ‘eh, fuckit, I can make a joke out of that one’. And nothing is off limits. NOTHING.
Which is what Raybon does.
Here’s the thing about Raybon at his finest – it’s dry witticism that’s best served in classic Kiwi dead-pan, and right from the get-go the COVID one-liners come thick and fast. It’s unrelenting, but in a slow-simmering sort of way, and the punchline never quite hits until three jokes later and the collective “oomph” from the audience resounds as we’re all simultaneously howling and grimacing in a “…he totally went there” kind of way.
That said, it’s not the bombastic in-your-face kind of humour that the Americans tend to lomp off, like dropping grenades to try and catch some snapper. It’s much rather the methodical teasing and pulling of good ol’ Kiwi-satirical line fishing, hook, line, sinker.
In all honesty, to reveal too much of the content is to reveal the gag, but there’s everything to do with Nazi’s, COVID, climate change, and what-have-you – you know, hot button topics – and then there’s all the stuff in between. The only issue being that the slow-simmer really is quite slow to start.
In retrospect, that’s a refreshing change to the 120% effort straight out of the gate you’re used to with the younger comedians, and reminds of comedy that requires a bit of thinking. There’s a bit of word play in the set, and trust me, you’ll want to be keeping an ear open for some of the really good stuff.
Have a trot up to Fhloston Paradise on the Ponsonby strip and listen to the good man have a decent yarn. It’s a rare thing these days, and even rarer that he does it without too much of a fuss.