Seen : : Eli Matthewson "The Year of Magical F***ing"

Don’t be alarmed by the title, because this is exactly what the show is about. Nothing to be surprised about here. Don't arrive to the gig and be surprised when Eli starts talking about f***ing.

I want to tell you about this show from Eli Matthewson, apparently the edgiest comedian in the festival. But I’m both: a) unsure how to best describe the show and b) cautious not to ruin any of the jokes. This is comedy about romance and being social human beings in the 21st century told from the perspective of not a straight-male-with-a-small-beer-belly-not-too-big-but-just-big-enough-to-notice, kind of comedian. You know that kind of white tee shirt, hasn't seen a hairdresser in two weeks too long, cartoon stink lines coming off his head? Eli is NOT that, this is why I say don't be surprised.

I feel like my experience in this show could be best described through the experience of the man sat to my left during the show. Note: there was a lot more fun involved in the experience I had, which stands in stark contrast to the amount of fun this gentleman next to me had.

This gentleman was deep into his fifties, on the wrong end of the scales and didn't understand the product sizing at his nearest Country Road. That sounds a little mean, but it is a lot less mean when I say that he did not laugh. Once. You could smell the guy getting offended. And I don’t think that this was because Eli is “edgy” (I know so, actually), I think it’s because this guy bought tickets to the wrong damn show, because he spent a very reasonable twenty-five dollars on a very entertaining show, only to have the disappointment kicked out of him by Matthewson. Eli made a joke about anal sex, the gentleman squirmed in his seat, Eli made a joke about the whole gay disney princes thing, and the dude almost stormed out. PS: Don't go to a comedy show if you're easily offended, the basement is too small for that.

Mathewson toes the line between vibrant and real, very very well. He is able to tell stories about his own experience being gay in Auckland (and Christchurch, and Wellington, and in the internet). I really don't want to ruin the jokes, because he has a few shows left, but his ability to tread between making penis jokes and having real conversations about the realities of media portrayal of homosexuality is uncanny. The show is hilarious, in an indescribable way that brings you so close to the story, there is no deliberation in his build up nor hesitation in his execution. Just pure unadulterated comedy.

Disclaimer: Don’t go if you're an older conservative trumped up white guy, I don't know if you're going to be able to handle (nor understand) all of the references to penises. Or do go, it would be pretty interesting to see Eli absolutely pants a heckler.

He has four more shows this week, 10pm @ The Basement Theatre, buy them here.

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