There is something easy and relaxing about a stand-up comedy night. Informal, fun, a bit risqué and you never quite know what to expect. Except that you will generally have a good laugh, discover a new outlook to everyday topics and see a few different acts, all washed down with a beverage or three. Add some friends and a pizza and you have the makings of a really good night and a great way to finish up the weekend. This is what I discovered last Sunday.
Infinite Jest is an experimental night of comedy which happens in the Velvet Lounge inside the Flying Scotsman pub in Mount Lawley every Sunday evening. Infinite Jest started in March this year as a monthly comedy show but has recently made the switch to a weekly show due to the overwhelming support from the audiences.
Infinite Jest is the brainchild of Perth comedians Jeremiah Watts, Ben Mulvey, Sam Cribb and Glenn Grimwood, who started the gig as a monthly night of open mic and experimental comedy earlier this year. They have taken inspiration from their favourite comedy rooms from all over the world and have brought their collective experiences back to Perth. One of the comedy rooms which they have used for inspiration is the Comedy store in LA, a comedian hangout where audience members and performers interact. Each Infinite Jest show is an open mic and if any aspiring comedians want to try their hand at stand up comedy they can email firstname.lastname@example.org and discuss getting on a lineup as soon as possible.
“From the start it was all about a space for comedians to experiment and get better at comedy. To have a place for people to perform, though, you need an audience to watch them. So we set out to create the kind of room we would have loved to attend before we were in comedy, when we were just comedy nerds dreaming of being onstage.”
Jeremiah (Jez) Watts. Cofounder and comedian.
The show runs for approximately 2 hours and is just $5 entry. The venue also does a pizza and pint special for $10 so for less than the price of a movie you can have a night out including dinner, a drink and a show, all while supporting local talent and having a laugh.
The show consists of 10 comedians and an MC. The final show of the month is themed, the one I went to last Sunday was ‘Family Matters’ theme which means every comedian had to refer to family at some point in their 5 minute set. Families always provide a lot of laughs so this proved to be quite interesting.
There is also the “Set list” in which topics are projected onto a screen and the chosen comedian has to improvise a routine based around those suggestions. Last Sunday Matt Dyktynski did a fantastic job of getting through about 8 different suggestions. The concept of the Set List was invented by Troy Conrad and developed further by LA comedian Paul Provenza who uses it on his comedy TV show in America.
For the real comedy buffs there are 6 month or 1 year double passes available for the extremely discounted price of $60 and $100 respectively. The material is new each month and new material is encouraged each week and the comedians rotate and change so no two shows are ever alike. By keeping things new and exciting audiences can come back to the Infinite Jest shows again and again and not have to see the same jokes they saw last time. They can also develop relationships with the comedians.
“We look at Perth comedy as a community. We don’t think we compete with other comedy rooms here – we want them to do as well as possible. Anytime we can help out another room or cross-promote we jump at the chance. All we want is for our comedy and the comedy of our friends to get better, and for Perth to have as vibrant a comedy culture as it deserves.” Jeremiah Watts.
Apart from some very clever and funny stand-up on Sunday night there was also a duo MC act, Sarah Young and Ben Mulvey who kept the show flowing and swiftly dealt with some quite random hecklers.
The comedians included Sam Cribb, cofounder of Infinite Jest, James Palm, Matt Storer, Tor Snyder all the way from Canada, Ciaran Lyons, the steely faced Dez Pondent, Matt Dyktynski who did the Infinite Set List, Ben Ebsworth who beatboxed and used a cool looping machine and rapped a funny song largely centred around penises and vaginas, James Day, Jeremiah Watts, Colin Worth, Ari Mannis from the USA and Ben Darsow. (They are all pictured below in the gallery.)
Each comedian brought his or her own style and personality to the show and they all made the crowd laugh as well as skilfully handling a few drunk audience members who looked as if they may have been drinking all day.
Infinite Jest is taking a break this Sunday (26th October 2014) but then they will be back every Sunday in November and beyond bringing laughs and a great night out to The Velvet lounge. So why not grab your mates and head to Mount Lawley on Sundays for some dinner, drinks and a show all for $15. Can’t go wrong with that.
And remember- Life is better when you’re laughing.
Get to know these guys a bit better and get info on ticket sales for individual shows here – Facebook page- Infinite Jest
Tickets for the next show on Sunday 2nd November are here Tickets for November 2nd
The annual double passes are available here http://www.infinitejestshow.eventbrite.com.au/
Have you been to an Infinite Jest night? Do you plan to go?