Te Auaha, 17th May 2023
Reviewed by: Madelaine Empson
Guy Montgomery – as seen on Taskmaster NZ, 7 Days, Have You Been Paying Attention?, and “very, very briefly” on Celebrity Treasure Island – is one of my favourite New Zealand comedians. I jumped at the chance to see this NZ International Comedy Festival show from a Billy T Award winner who came up with The Worst Idea of all Time and, together with Tim Batt, proudly followed through with it. Multiple times.
There are no bad ideas here, although there sure are some interesting ones. In My Brain is Blowing Me Crazy, a 34-year-old man who was once a little boy tells us about the crazy place that is the world. That’s how Montgomery bills the show anyway, quoting “I’ve got a really good feeling about this one” in amongst other favourable reviews.
I don’t want to spoil any of his jokes, so very, very briefly, content includes the alphabet, jammies, horses, and the Bechdel test. Montgomery fries some bigger fish too, like the interesting lack of representation for stepparents in mainstream media despite how many blended families there are. Absolutely none of it has anything to do with the price of fish.
There’s a reason Montgomery is killing it in the comedy game, and I reckon it’s more to do with his delivery than the content itself, because he could make anything funny. This is a comedian who could sell laughs to a hyena. That being said, it’s very difficult to describe his comedy stylings in the first place, let alone without making multiple contradictions. He’s a very smart Guy with a magnetic stage presence who seems surprised we’re there and pleased he managed to dress himself. In amongst his absurd anecdotes and zigzag tangents, there is structure, composition, finesse. Everything he says is weird but makes sense. Too much sense. Like when two stoney-bolognas think they’ve discovered the meaning of life. He’s one, you’re the other.
On a high, my plus one and I walk out with big grins but one burning question that occurred to both of us repeatedly throughout the show: what actually is the price of fish?