At the start of Guy’s Williams' new show “You Can Smell the Desperation", he portrays the ongoing duel for supremacy between the New Zealand Herald and TV3 as two naked old men slowly strangling each other into submission. Which is how I feel about a lot of stand-up comedy, in that it’s mildly interesting to begin with but you just wish they would get to the point. However, Guy Williams manages to avoid this pitfall by simply chilling out in a very Kiwi kind of way.
As a result, his show provides the audience with a far more relaxed experience than many of those currently gracing our stages. As well as hammering home the irrelevance of the Herald in today's market and the reported demise of Campbell Live, Williams jumps on the "Ponygate" scandal before moving into jokes about how we interact with Twitter (he's a prolific tweeter himself).
The local vibe of the show means that most of the jokes embrace the New Zealand vernacular. If you keep up with even a modicum of media output you will find them funny. Williams plays on this well by affecting a blokey persona that perfectly fits the bill.
The direness of today's New Zealand Herald doesn’t require much explanation, in Williams' view, nor should anyone be surprised about TV3's programming decisions (this, despite the fact that Williams is the resident comedian on the channel's Jono and Ben show).
"You Can Sense the Desperation" lacks structure but that only seems to add to the humour. It's more like listening to an elderly person ramble on about his childhood than watching a high-paced 'joke in every line' stand-up. But that's kind of cruisy, and there are some pretty smooth pieces of audience participation, including a bout of inspired role playing with a guy pretending to be a cat.
Guy Williams: "You Can Sense the Desperation" is at Montecristo - Upstairs until 16 May (no shows Sunday, Monday or Thursday).