Australia: A Whinging Pom's Guide

If Dan Willis is targeting the annoying Australian Uncle demographic with his show Australia: A Whinging Pom’s Guide, he’s got it completely spot on.

A few generalisations are always entertaining, but an entire hour full of them? This really was a lazy, dull attempt at stand-up.

Dan Willis appears to be ‘that Uncle’. That Uncle who emigrated once (hoorah) but then came back (nooo) and chose to talk at you about it for an hour (save me). Willis is that Uncle who keeps referring to a poorly constructed PowerPoint presentation in order to embellish his already dreary points.

As we move from aesthetically displeasing slide to aesthetically displeasing slide, Willis covers an impressive amount of Australian culture. From food, to romance, to politics. I wouldn’t blame you if you found yourself switching off in each one to watch the guy in front fidget.

If the lacklustre PowerPoint isn’t outdated enough, the Yorkshire comedian shuffles through his MP3 in one section and makes jokes about Peter Andre in another. A couple of anecdotes hit: the Aussies’ approach to serving vinegar is mildly amusing for instance, as is the moment when he recalls being attacked. By his audience, you ask? Well, mostly magpies, but yes, also by an audience member at a past gig.

What’s more, Willis keeps referring to the success of aforementioned past gigs in attempt to salvage this one: ‘this joke tore the house apart in Melbourne’, he claims, before casually mentioning he’s buddies with successful comedian Greg Davies. Casual name drop, immediate respect drop.

Instead of a concise and snappy set, Willis decides to edit next to no detail out of his copious tales. We get departure times, arrival times, travel distances - the whole laborious lot.

Perhaps this was entertaining to the few Australians in the audience, who Willis pestered and patronised with questions that he already knew the answer to. A few generalisations are always entertaining, but an entire hour full of them? This really was a lazy, dull attempt at stand-up.

The worst part was when photos of his daughter popped up on the PowerPoint before the money collection at the end. Just no.

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The Blurb

The funny side of Australia. British comedy veteran Dan Willis moved to Australia three years ago. Now he's got a bag of jokes, experiences and hangovers to share. ‘Unpretentious, informal, belly-laughs-a-minute stand-up’ **** (ThreeWeeks). ‘Sharp wit and comic timing, never fails to entertain’ **** (List).