Aboriginal Comedy Allstars

Truly funny, indigenous comedy, Aboriginal Comedy Allstars features three Aboriginal Australian comedians: Kevin Kropinyeri, Steph Tisdell and Andy Saunders. Each performing a 15-20 minute set, they bring their own personal style of stand-up to the stage with an indigenous twist.

Truly funny, indigenous comedy

I was a bit worried that a mostly white, mostly non-Australian audience won’t understand a lot of the jokes, but I was very quickly proved wrong. Although these comedians don’t exist to educate us, they gave enough background context to any niche references so we all learned a bit more about Australia and Aboriginal culture.

Steph Tisdell in particular blew me away with her drole sense of humour and infectious jokes. She told us about the weird and wonderful reactions she gets to being Aboriginal in Scotland, a place that’s maybe not so outwardly racist as Australia, but still hostile to some forms of difference. For anyone who’s familiar with non-white comedy, her discussion of white guilt as a drug is hilarious, and helps us white people understand further the experience of minorities.

All three comedians employ traditional cultural (often racist) stereotypes about Aboriginal people to challenge them and turn them on their heads – for example that they’re all criminals, they have no money and they’re addicted to drink and drugs. The fact that Aboriginal people make up 70% of the Australian prison population but only 2% of the general population was referenced in jokes a lot, which is a striking statistic I wasn’t aware of. They also spend a lot of time poking fun at the racist climate of Australia and the government, which allows for a lot of laughs as criticising inept governments seems to be a current comedy theme (for good reason).

The show ends with the audience participating in a song describing the show as “deadly”, which in Aboriginal Australian slang means excellent or amazing. And that’s exactly what Aboriginal Comedy Allstars is – deadly. It is well worth a watch for any fans of comedy, indigenous or otherwise.

Reviews by Isla Whateley

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The Blurb

From the oldest culture on earth comes the freshest, fiercest and funniest stand-up around. Cheeky, loud, black and proud, featuring the brightest stars in Australian comedy: Kevin Kropinyeri, Andy Saunders and Steph Tisdell (winner, Pinder Prize 2019). A unique comedy experience with great big belly laughs from the heart of the wide brown land. 'Any qualms about whether non-indigenous people would be able to laugh at the content are quickly quashed. This show is belly-aching, cheek hurting, hilarious' ***** (Advertiser, Adelaide). This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.

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