Gordon Southern is one of those immediately likeable comedians, and not just because of his accent. He’s clever, and has a knack for telling jokes that are fun and honest without stepping over the line. He’s not excessively tied to a script, and seems to take genuine pleasure from reacting to the crowd. And he’s handsome, in that rom-com way where he doesn’t make you feel inadequate about your own attractiveness.
He’s also really keen on puns, but then no one’s perfect.
The crowd-work is what really stood out to me about Southern, though. He has that rare talent where he can engage with an audience without making them feel self-conscious or shy. He can pick on a well-meaning heckler without forcing them to retreat into their seat. Essentially, he just makes everyone feel welcome, present and involved.
The material’s new, and it’s early in the Fringe, so not every joke found its mark. But fortunately most jokes did: the first half-hour of the show was solid grade-A comedy, and I think by the end of this week almost the full hour will be up to the same standard. And even the jokes that didn’t kill weren’t bad by any stretch. It’s only where Southern gets to the topic of Millennials that he’s a bit unsteady, with one joke that made him sound about as on-the-pulse as a News Corp paper editorial.
Southern puts on great comedy, though, and there were some personal moments that made the show memorable. If you’ve liked him in the past then come for the new material. If you’re looking for an intimate night of comedy then go for the cosy confines of The Howling Owl. Failing that, just come along if you want to have a good laugh.