Luke Heggie: “Grogan” at Melbourne 2024

**** (out of 5)

Grogan sounds like a word describing a real tough guy; Down Under, more like tough shit.

Luke Heggie‘s new hour finds him in dreaded territory as a dad. His kids are now old enough rebel against him. He’s no longer a hero. And as a middle-aged white bloke in stand-up comedy, he’s not exactly prized goods there, either. Say what you want about any of that, as he would tell you, but Heggie is able to maintain a dry, deadpan distance from his material while staying extremely self-aware of what he’s saying and why, much of it relating to men as a whole having their midlife crises, individually and collectively. For his part, Heggie admits that he’d become immediately useless if his wife ever left him alone for too long. He observes the extreme lengths other men have gone to in an effort to overcome their adult insecurities. “When we go extinct we’ll have thoroughly deserved it,” he cracks.

Heggie also isn’t afraid to go after his peers, even if they’re not directly named. Stand-up comedy “used to be just nerds and mentals,” like himself, but he notes now how “models and rich kids” and people who already had successful occupations have taken over comedy club stages. Or even worse, risen to theater and arena acts, where he claims too many of them are overtly loud podcasters, “screaming repeaters,” or secretly chair-sniffers or yet-to-be exposed as predators. Not Heggie, though. He’s just got jokes. Lots and lots of jokes.

Heggie also is celebrating the release of a new book, “If You Must Know,” which adapts three of his previous shows to the printed page. Thankfully, no crowd work there, either. His book release is happening April 6 at The Greek.

Luke Heggie presents “Grogan” through 21 April at the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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