Combining your childhood and upbringing into just a 50minute sketch is no easy feat. However for a comedian like Michael Shafar, by the end, you’ll be wanting to hear more. I wouldn’t say too many comedians have a law degree but Michael not only does, he rips into the crowd for having one themselves. In a world where he claims Jewish people are told to be lawyers, doctors or accountants, he pushed for something more. Comedy. Complaining about the loopholes in Jewish law that enable Hitler to access heaven and American grocers, that don’t know ‘who’ quinoa is, there’s truly no holding back.
We don’t often support comedians but this is one show we are highly recommending that you attend. Performing all month long at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, it’s never been easier to head to a gig to witness the satirical comedy and impressions that are on show for yourself.
Rather than us talk about how great the show is, we caught up with the great man to chat a little about his comedy.
Hey buddy, how did you first have the idea to pursue comedy?
When I was at school we used to have a public speaking competition every year that was always the highlight of my year. I just took it as an opportunity to do a silly, funny speech and I got addicted to getting laughs.
And what was your first gig like?
Absolutely terrifying. I completely bombed, though the audience was very supportive because they knew it was my first gig, so I got quite a lot of pity laughs. It was probably that which helped me continue to get on stage.
Your show has an incredible range of jokes, from Buddy Holly to Oompa Loompas and American society, what’s your process like for putting a show like this together?
I basically just gig multiple times a night pretty much every night of the week building up and honing material. I’ll then kind of look at all of my jokes leading up to a festival and work out how I can piece them together to tell a story.
I don’t necessarily set out to make the show about one thing, in particular, it’s just a mix of jokes and stories that make people laugh. That’s probably why there is such a wide range of ideas on the show.
For those that haven’t seen your show before, how would you describe your comedy to them?
Obviously, I talk a lot about the strange aspects of being Jewish and that culture. But, I think more so, my comedy is about me reacting to bizarre things that people say to me or that I hear. Really, a lot of my comedy is just me being confused at people and the world.
And lastly, being involved with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, what’s the best part of the festival for you?
Definitely getting to see so many shows, particularly from international acts who I otherwise would never get to see. I’m very lucky to be able to watch so much comedy and learn so much in a short space of time.