COMEDY REVIEW: ‘Squeaky Clean Comedy’

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Squeaky Clean Comedy – the only show of the comedy festival with a giant inflatable duck onstage yet the comedians can’t think of a single word that rhymes with duck.

When you arrive at the Melbourne Conference Centre, you realise there’s something different about Squeaky Clean Comedy pretty quickly; from the “pay as you feel snack stand”, to the general demographic of the audience every age that while it’s pretty clear this show is for adults you can see every age represented from young kids to the older generation and all are genuinely looking forward to a good show.

I’m going to be honest and say going into Squeaky Clean Comedy I was unsure of what to expect, I guess I’ve been taught to expect comedy for adults to be dirty and inappropriate. I’ve left many comedy shows previously having laughed very hard but also wanting to take a shower and avoid mentioning the jokes I laughed at. Plus I think we’ve all had that moment in the cinema watching TV or wherever with a family member, date or friend where something controversial or inappropriate has been said, that while funny, you also just want to sink into the floor, never to be seen from again. Squeaky Clean Comedy gave me the laughs but I left without feeling the weight of laughing at something that may have been highly offensive to someone else. That’s the interesting thing about Squeaky Clean Comedy – I would say it’s one of the toughest audiences of the festival because each audience member and comedian has a different definition of what humour is “squeaky clean”.

There was a bit of awkwardness at the start as the show began before everyone took their seats but the comedians made light of the situation and all was well.
While the jokes avoided swearing and blatant filth, there were a fair few jokes about race, relationships, and the political climate (Trump). While all of them were witty and brilliant, you could at times hear different members of the audience go “oh, is that clean?” or “ooo” as they laughed at a joke that perhaps stretched their definition of squeaky clean. I even found myself eventually questioning the rating of one or two jokes. As while some comedians were completely in their element, you could definitely feel that others were occasionally struggling to stay within the PG constraints.

But overall, the jokes were thought provoking and observational, it wasn’t just squeaky clean comedy. It was genuine, clever, comedy. I had a smile on my face the whole time. The show, at least on opening night, was broken into two parts separated by an interval and auction with funds going to support World Vision and their work overseas. World Vision volunteers were around to explain what they do and how you can help, this added to the feel-good essence of the night.

I doubt you’ll see at another show that’s so varied and so open for anyone to attend during the festival featuring a ventriloquist, a spoken word poet, a ukulele and throwback to VCR players. Squeaky Clean Comedy is the show you could go with anyone to. On a first date or with your parents and you will never have to sink awkwardly into your chair in embarrassment.

Words by Amy Marks

Squeaky Clean Comedy is running at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.