2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival:
• Nicholas J. Johnson—Today Tonight, Tomorrow the World

Posted on 03 April 2013

Nicholas Johnson is known as The Honest Conman. This is because he studied magic and decided what he loved most was breaking down the sleight-of-hand used by con artists, then demonstrating to others how it works.

People enjoy surprises, they even enjoy the odd scare, as long as they aren’t harmed in any way. This is why surprise birthday parties, simple pranks, and horror movies are so much fun. Strong emotions can be thrilling and addictive. Commercial television likes to build on these things, because it draws an audience.

So it is hardly suprising that news entertainment shows such as A Current Affair or Today Tonight get mileage out of stirring people’s indignation about con artist scams. Ordinary folk are then unwittingly made to be demonstration victims to illustrate the problem. These articles elicit the question: are these shows educating the audience or are they manufacturing meanspirited diversions?

Johnson’s show takes us on a journey through his experiences dallying with commercial television and perhaps answering this question. Back in the mid noughties he was asked by Today Tonight to enact several scams. For money and a chance at TV fame, he agreed, then quickly began wondering what sort of pact he had just signed.

Today Tonight, Tomorrow The World is a gripping hour of storytelling. Johnson brilliantly weaves together all the surprises, deceptions, and turn-abouts that comprise this sordid moment in his life. It’s edge of seat stuff and very funny in turn. Thumbs up!


Today Tonight, Tomorrow the World

Peace and kindness,


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