Paul Williams: “Mamiya 7” at Melbourne 2024

**** (out of 5)

Paul Williams plays the role of assistant on Taskmaster New Zealand, but for his third show at Melbourne, he wants to recount for us a very special task that he assigned himself that took him around the world, all because of the story he told himself about the roll of film he acquired along with a second-hand camera.

Japanese manufacturer Mamiya’s Mamiya 7 camera is a pricey piece of work, considering it was discontinued in 2014. But you don’t need to know anything about the company or the camera to become enthralled by the tangled tale Williams weaves, going off on tangents, crafting songs, and falling in love? I can’t hit all the high notes here like he can. Williams may find a way to squeeze in a joke about his brother, Guy, who also has a show at the festival, but it’s nothing compared to his gags at the expense of a former schoolmate who somehow someway has become a celebrity influencer with millions of followers on social media and TV credits galore.

“Don’t clap. Don’t encourage me,” Williams says at one point.

I say don’t listen to him. He deserves the encouragement.

Paul Williams presents “Mamiya 7” 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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