2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival:
• Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation

Posted on 24 April 2012

In some ways Dave Gorman’s show Powerpoint Presentation is nothing new. He talks about the wife, he tells piddle jokes, he mocks advertising. Many comedians like adding multimedia to their performances. Nevertheless, you laugh much harder when Gorman tells the jokes. He’s a consummate standup comedian.

Timing.

Gorman maintains a brisk even pace throughout his performance. He relies largely on anecdotal humour with the odd one-liner. If a joke falls a little flat, it still forms part of a larger story structure, so people are willing to take it onboard in anticipation of a bigger payoff. His story about happy clocks and the absurd lengths marketing has taken that concept had a beautiful snowballing effect about it whereby the laughter just got louder and louder.

He has an excellent ear for hearing the ebb and flow of people’s reactions. He is also skilled at using those tides to push the humour even further.

Maintaining centre of focus.

Many comedians grossly misuse their multimedia elements. The images in Powerpoint Presentation are well realised, crisp, and easy to interpret. Gorman at no point loses his audience as they try to disentangle the meaning of a poorly designed slide. A common problem other comedians face.

All images are in support of Gorman’s jokes. You have to pay attention to Gorman if you want the payoff. Though he changes images, generally Gorman is the only one moving and not the pictures. This is important because the instant anything on the screen moves, it’s more interesting to the audience than the live human being.

Surprise.

This is where you separate the entertaining from the outright LOL-meisters. Gorman would set up a joke and you would think, I know where this is going, then take a left-angle turn into something relevant but completely unexpected.

Certain subjects are funny enough we laugh even when we aren’t surprised. When Gorman throws out a few jokes of this nature, he takes you to the punchline and lets you fill in the blank. I think we all relish this respect for our intelligence. But his surprises are masterful sleight-of-hand that give the world a magical sparkle I believe we all crave.

If you are a budding comedian, I would strongly suggest watching some of Gorman’s performances to set the bar for yourself. Dave Gorman and Powerpoint Presentation are superb.

Peace and kindness,

Katherine

http://www.davegorman.com/


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