Jody Kamali is a comedian, a clown and based on his YouTube repertoire, an impressive character actor. His stand-up show, The A to Z of Backpacking was a simple, observational look at the culture of travelling, complete with accompanying slideshow.
As is to be expected from a traveler, Kamali is a genuine, friendly and open guy, which helped the audience to warm to him and feel very much relaxed. He begins by (again in true traveler style) getting to know almost all of the audience, using his ‘Where you from? Where you from?’ song, which was fun and relevant to the theme, rather than the usual lukewarm comedian warm-up routine. Kamali then takes you through a typical time spent away: from the packing right through to the journey home.
His comments were accurate and extremely relatable to the audience, all of whom had been backpacking. I particularly enjoyed his ‘sounds of the dorm room’ bit, with long overly loud whispered conversations and overly zipping bags. His racial stereotype jokes were tastefully handled and based on the reaction of the Canadian girl in the first room, very accurate.
Whilst charming and light-hearted, some of Kamali’s jokes were a little overdone, obvious and silly, such as the over-enthusiastic Aussie tour bus leader. Kamali tried very hard and was a little under-confident at times. He also laughed at his own jokes and I couldn’t help but wonder how exaggerated some of his traveler stories were. The show definitely contained more ‘in jokes’ than jokes as well, which were understood well by a traveler audience, but probably wouldn’t be understood by others. If you are in on the joke however, The A to Z of Backpacking is fun and enjoyable.