John-Luke Roberts: Broken Stand-up

Review by Roxane Hudon | 12 Aug 2013
  • John-Luke Roberts

After seeing several very standard comedy sets, John-Luke Roberts’ absurd and bizarre show is a hilarious and original treat. He opens with different introductions, including a half-naked song and dance and one where he plays a philosopher named Allan the Button, reading out perfectly strange one-liners.

Roberts then moves on to “warming up” the audience by individually insulting each one of us with previously written putdowns. You might want to remember a few of those for future use – they’re the kind of intelligent insults that leave the recipient impressed, rather than offended. His clever repartee is tinged with a whole lot of silliness, which may alienate viewers looking for straight-up laughs about mundane things. Roberts is obviously going out of his way to create something different and more than a bit weird, mixing it up with a funny flip chart and a ridiculous musical number involving Johnny Cash’s Hurt and a pair of plastic teeth.

It’s too bad that comedians going “outside the box,” are still considered “alternative.” You might not get what all of it is about, especially considering that there seems to be an endless stream of crackpot ideas flowing from Roberts’ head, but even if you leave just thinking ‘well, that was weird,’ he’ll still stand out from a lot of shows you’ll be seeing. Plus, it’s totally free.

John-Luke Roberts: Broken Stand-Up, PBH Free Fringe @ The Voodoo Rooms, 9-25 Aug (not 13), 4.15pm, free