Review: Dan Soder: Son Of A Gary at Underbelly

On paper, the concept of this show is a sweet one. A mid-thirties son raised by his mum after his dad passed away at an early age, reflecting on his life and where he’s at compared to where society thinks he should be. 

The personal reflections are the strong point of the show, particularly with family at the heart of many of the sincerer moments, but these are all too often bulldozed with a joke that drives through the front door of any hint of fragility. 

Soder is a very skilled comedian in his field of closer to the bone comedy and this is apparent throughout the hour. One too many observations on the lack of reaction his favoured material gets, become a little tiresome and at times unfair on a crowd that are trying their best to keep up with his heavy dose of Americanisms that don’t always hit the mark. “I’m just thinking about how big a laugh that joke would get in America” feels particularly petty and unnecessary, albeit probably valid. 

There’s no shyness towards drug and alcohol anecdotes, some of which are pure gold, some of which ironically lack substance. With a 14+ tag, if you’re bringing your teenager along be prepared for an awkward car journey home.  

There’s no real big finale to the show other than an amusing throwback to a brilliantly awkward milk and dial-up internet anecdote and the viewpoint that there should be no boundaries to comedy with people too quick to be offended in this day and age. This was a semi-decent show that with the subject matter could have been so much more. 

Dan Soder, Son Of A Gary, Underbelly, Bristo Square,  until 26 Aug, 7:15 pm

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