Fans of Burns already know his distinctive style. The Monster-drinking Australian is gruff, loud, unbounded and uses expletives instead of punctuation. His fans love it, but unfortunately I did not. Burns generally divides a room and it seems that this year's show is no exception.
Burns intends to cause discomfort and succeeds.
There was selective material that I enjoyed but a lot of his jokes fell flat. Some wince, some laugh nervously and some purse their lips. I did not find his crude, coarse and sometimes cruel humour to be that inventive or amusing. Burns intends to cause discomfort and succeeds. He's unashamedly blunt. He loves a heckler and indeed heckles his own audience, almost goading us into striking back. It’s impressive when a comedian can build material just from talking to the members of his audience, but Burns seems to have less boundaries than most when it comes to this. He often launches an attack on his audience and looks to cause awkward situations. His comments are generally crude and would definitely insult in all other contexts. To tell a member of your audience that he looks like a prison rapist is not what many consider to be good comedy. He may not have directly insulted or offended me, but he doesn’t make for easy listening.
One of the stronger parts of Burns' show is towards the end with a dissection of Arnold Schwarzenegger's career complete with a quite accurate impression. However, despite this initially working it took up a large portion of the show and lost its shine after a little while. Another topic that Burns touches upon - the differences between racial slurs in different countries - gives only a mild taste of what his coarser material entails. Whilst he sometimes picks interesting topics, his bellowing, swearing delivery brings them down.
He's not afraid to open his mouth and let whatever he thinks come shouting out, no matter how controversial the issue, He likes to talk the dark, crass stuff that others shy from. However, there is a reason that comedians generally shy from such things. If you're looking for the shock factor, Burns is maybe for you. On the other hand, if you get insulted easily, he probably isn't.