11 April 2013

MICF review: Nicholas J Johnson

Nicholas J Johnson: Today Tonight, Tomorrow the World
Australia's Honest Con Man Entertainment
2 April 2003
Comedy on Collins
to 20 April (the web site lies, if you're trying to go tonight, 21 April)
comedyfestival.com.au

My unexpected hit of MICF (so far) is Nicholas J Johnson's Today Tonight, Tomorrow the World.

It's about his experience of being invited to appear on channel 7's 6.30 pm muckhole Today Tonight. This is easily the worst show on Australian television for its fear mongering, exploitation and outright lying. At its best, it's embarrassing and at its usual, it exploits more than the exploiters it tries to exposes. But what really upsets me is that people watch it and believe it.

As a magician who exposes cons as Australia's Honest Con Man, Nicholas was invited onto the program to show how easy it is to be conned.  He took the nice cheque and was flown to Sydney to make a segment.

Is Today Tonight as maggot-ridden as it seems or is it run by uber-intelligent folk who know how to reach a certain audience?

The story behind the story is so much better than I imagined – and by better I mean so bad that it should be compulsory viewing for anyone who has ever watched the program or any show claiming to be current affairs.

It's always fun to see behind the scenes, but what makes this terrific story an utter delight is Nicholas's sharing of his own story about how a nerdy kid from Canberra ended up on national tv. And the twist ending? As if I'd even consider giving it away! But it's great.

And you get to hang out at Comedy On Collins, where Candlelight Productions have selected a program of comedy shows for adults that don't rely on the cheap shock of language. Not only is in the gorgeous Scots' Church Assembly Hall, but has the loveliest FOH staff – who ignored my use of words-that-are-not-used in any of their shows as we talked about program and what a great idea it was.

Today Tonight, Tomorrow the World is one of the small shows that could drown in the choice or sell out because everyone who sees it will recommend it to someone else. I'm recommending. It's a 9.30 start, so easy to add to the end of a night or as a start to a late-night festival binge.

This was on AussieTheatre.com





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