Dave Bloustein – A Complete History of Western Philosophy

Posted on April 7, 2011

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This is the original review copy I wrote for the AJN, which edited it down somewhat when they published it today (cos, you know, there’s this thing called ‘limited space’ when you publish is such an old-fashioned medium):

Manic, warm and genial, Dave Bloustein is an utter delight. Presenting this “patchwork quilt” of Western Philosophy in not much more than a cupboard next to the bar upstairs at The Forum, he instantly sets the near-capacity audience at ease by joking about the room – being in a theatre helps, he notes, because if the show’s funny it’s comedy and if it’s not then it’s theatre.

Being confronted by his own hypocrisy provides a bookend for a thoroughly enjoyable, hilarious hour of comedy that I didn’t want to end. Through it Bloustein charts – very broadly – a history of Western philosophical thought interspersed with extended asides on racism, religion, his daughter and more; indeed, he’s probably the only comic I’ve encountered who can mix stories about his kids into an otherwise highbrow comedy show without jarring the tone.

Because this is cerebral stuff, albeit accessible. He takes joy in wordplay and puns easily as he freewheels from point to point, improvising where necessary. It’s pleasure to witness and a hoot from go to whoa.

4.5 stars

Printed on something called paper! Remember that stuff?

Anyway, a week in it remains the best show I’ve seen so far at the 2011 Melbourne International Comedy Fest. My other, possibly better written, reviews are over at The Enthusiast.

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Posted in: Comedy, Live reviews