In my humble opinion, George Costanza (Seinfeld) is the greatest sitcom character of all time. And naturally, the actor that plays George, Jason Alexander, is my favourite sitcom actor (and probably TV actor) of all time.
And so when I found out that Jason Alexander’s Comedy Spectacular was returning to Sydney, I didn’t hesitate to buy tickets immediately. The chance to see the closest thing I have to a hero was too rare an opportunity to pass up. It didn’t matter to me that the description of the show stated that Alexander was ‘hosting’ a night of comedy, which made me slightly concerned that they were merely using his name to promote a show predominantly featuring other comics.
The verdict? Pure gold! By far the best comedy night I have ever been to.
This was truly Jason Alexander’s Comedy Spectacular. Alexander featured all the way through the 3-hour+ extravaganza, and he was in superb form from start to finish. The show began with a hilarious long solo stand-up act from the man himself (much longer than I had expected). It wasn’t just recycled material either – there were plenty of references to more recent events (from the death of Michael Jackson to Tiger Woods’ indiscretions to Australia’s new opposition leader to of course, the wedding between 66-year-old Geoffrey Edelsten and his 25 year-old-bride Brynne Gordon which Alexander was paid to attend) and was full of improvisation and spontaneity.
Following the solo act, Alexander began introducing a stellar cast of local comedians. On this particular night, he had stand-ups Glenn Robbins, Mick Molloy and Julia Morris, music-comedy trio The Axis of Awesome, and improv specialist Rebecca de Unamano. For those who know a little about Australian comedy, this is a formidable line-up. Good enough to sell-out venues even without the headlining superstar. Here’s a brief review of each of the secondary acts:
Glenn Robbins – by far the funniest comedian of the night not named Jason Alexander. He started off a little slow, but was absolutely on fire before it was over and had the crowds rolling in the isles.
Mick Molloy – the fat lady beside me sounded like she was about to die from laughter, but Mick’s comedy really didn’t do it for me personally – though to be fair he had a couple of good one-liners.
Julia Morris – consistent, female-oriented comedy with some decent laughs, but nothing that made me piss myself.
Axis of Awesome – great talents, but compared to the experienced and polished comics, felt a little amateurish – that was, until their final song, which was a bloody masterpiece.
Rebecca de Unamano – great fun because she utilised Jason Alexander’s talents and got the rest of the cast involved – and not a bad comedian herself.
The greatest thing was that even though the night was split between various acts, it was well and truly Alexander’s show. He was there from the beginning, he was by far the longest act, and he continued to throw in gut-busting lines and jokes (often at Michael Jackson’s expense) between the other acts. My favourite parts of the show were (in no particular order):
- the Q&A session with the crowd before the intermission, which largely circled around Seinfeld, of course. We found out what Jerry Seinfeld said to the gang before they went out for the last episode, what Alexander’s favourite George Costanza line is, and we even saw Alexander sign the leg of some dude in front of me who had George Constanza’s face tattooed on his leg! No joke;
- Jason Alexander’s amazing Broadway musical medley to kick start the second half of the show; and
- the improvisation session with the entire cast which finished up the night – Alexander was at his absolute best, even outdoing the master of improv Rebecuitca de Unamano.
All in all, it was indeed a comedy spectacular! Highly recommended if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to see it.
5 out of 5 stars!