Sam Simmons: “Man With A Fork In A World Full Of Soup” at Melbourne 2024

**** (out of 5)

The global hit Amazon Prime series, LOL: Last One Laughing, may have started with an initial comedy competition series set in Japan, but it feels tailor-made for Sam Simmons. Simmons competed in the lone Australian season in 2020, ready with all sorts of over-the-top gags to make his fellow comedians crack.

He’s known for all of that, and he’s been a festival favorite in Melbourne. His 2015 show, “Spaghetti For Breakfast,” won most outstanding show. His 2010 two-hander with David Quirk won the fest’s Golden Gibbo, while his solo show that year won The Piece of Wood (awarded by his peers). And he took home the Director’s Choice Award two years before that. All of which makes him a good bet to perform in the playhouse at the Arts Centre, even if his sell-out run only lasted three nights.

Simmons is so much a looney tune that you might not even suspect that technical difficulties he experienced Saturday night weren’t part of the act! (They weren’t) Everything else, though, is up for giggles, guffaws or puzzled reactions. He’ll sing with a microwave covering his head, or keep an audience member on their toes by darting and moving about onstage while instructing them to keep up. All while wearing a homemade bomb that will only explode if he, well, bombs. Who him, worry? ā€œIā€™m like an unusual flavor of crisp,ā€ he confessed at the end of one performance. We need those unusual flavors stocked on our comedy shelves.

Sam Simmons presented “Man With a Fork in a World Full of Soup” through 7 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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One thought on “Sam Simmons: “Man With A Fork In A World Full Of Soup” at Melbourne 2024

  1. Rather than an unusual flavour of crisp his show last Saturday night was more akin to that classic review from This Is Spinal Tap, a “shit sandwich”.
    I like Sam and like his out there approach but this seemed like he was making it up on the go, which would have been an achievement in itself but knowing that he’s been touring this show for at least several months made it all the more disappointing.

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