D.O'D Is Right On Key To Make Us All Feel Better
Cecile Blackmore | On 28, Apr 2017
Your favourite comedy import is back on Aussie soil with a show that will probably make you feel a bit calmer about The General State of The Times.
The last time I saw David O’Doherty, Irish musical comedian and 1990 East Leinster Under 14 Triple Jump Bronze Medallist, was almost exactly eight years ago. It was a different time – Obama had just been elected, David Bowie was still alive, everyone was telling me my impending Fine Arts degree would absolutely land me a nice job. Spicks and Specks was still on the telly and self-branded D’OD had won Oz hearts on it with his comedy keyboard jingles.
Fast-forward to 2017 – a reality television star is the leader of the free world, nuclear tensions rise, and all my job applications to Carseldine Red Rooster have been rejected. D’O’D takes the Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre stage for his new show Big Time, a low-frills backdrop behind him – the word “HOPEFULLY” spelt out in masking tape.
He nervously acknowledges the harrowing state of things – and that for his only Brisbane show, he’s been given the kiss of death of the “7:15pm on ANZAC Day” slot. We then got knocked flat with an elaborately staged poo joke (oh god, what a poo joke), and it was an easy ride from there on in 75 minutes of tightly-packed comedy, in a show that explores the importance of perspective and hope through adversity.
“I just want this to be the gig where I fixed everything!” he tells us.
This year also marks well over a decade in musical comedy being O’Doherty’s real, “Big Time” job. Hunched over his small keyboard, playing us low-energy tunes and telling us poo jokes is apparently still pretty weird and stressful for him, and he muses on whether life would’ve been simpler had he remained a telemarketer in his home town, and the oddity of being “slightly famous”.
It wouldn’t be a 2017-grade comedy show without a few potshots at hashtags, brunch culture, and the baffling facade of social media – but O’Doherty manages to bring some fresh material to the table on this topic, and has us howling as he explains how he accidentally ended up embroiled in a social media scandal with Ireland’s slightly less popular musical export, Ed Sheeran.
It’s stories like these where he’s at his best – though he’s a performer never billed without a mention to his 1986-model keyboard, O’Doherty’s standup game is ridiculously strong, incorporating physical comedy to play out gags that arguably run far funnier than his best-known keyboard bits.
It’s always great to hear a venue truly shake with laugher – .especially the Brisbane Powerhouse’s biggest room. My partner next to me – not a huge standup fan – laughed so hard his lips planted themselves in his glass of wine like a horse eating from a nose-bag.
As a citizen of Brisbane, a town that’s often overlooked, it was heartening to hear O’Doherty slipping in local references in measured doses throughout, too. It’s turned out to be a whimsical, poignant ride with a lot of heart. At the end of the gig, he reminds us that, statistically, at least one of us will be dead by this time next year. With D.O’D around, I think I’ll take those odds.