Words by: Emily Schofield-Cox
Mike Goldstein is an American comedian who has been touring with Fringe World after he became an Australian citizen (a process that included standing in front of a multicultural audience of fellow new citizens and telling them all to fuck off back to where they came from — the final step in becoming ‘one of us’). His stand up comedy routine, Mike Goldstein Does Words Good, is currently showing at the Elephant & Wheelbarrow in Northbridge. Basically, his show is like your favourite uncle coming to town and telling you funny anecdotes about their life that your parents wouldn’t want you to hear.
I didn’t go into Mike’s show feeling great; my friend had lost her ID and I’d been left to fend for myself for 45 minutes in Fringe-ified Northbridge (a wonderful, but daunting, place). I had gone into a café across from the pub to embrace the air conditioning, but instead somehow found myself sitting alone surrounded by a business meeting, drinking a cappuccino and eating a $15 cheesecake in 39 degree heat because I couldn’t quite understand the waitress and panicked.
But I left the show feeling good, and refreshed. Although nothing too ground breaking, Mike’s earnest excitement to be there is contagious. He took a minute to warm up, after apologising for the late start (the tennis was too interesting to stop watching), but after a little bit of the usual awkwardness, the show found its feet.
Within ten minutes he had made a Bill Crosby rape joke, informed the audience how to break up a dog fight (by sticking a finger up a dog’s butt), and told us the story of him getting caught masturbating by his mother in the throes of middle age. He wasn’t one to just dip his toe in.
By halfway through the show, he had become good friends with most of the audience and had found ways to intertwine their stories throughout the routine.
By the end, his irreverent humour had thoroughly alienated the older audience members, and anyone who had ever worn a hi-vis shirt (which was the majority of the eclectic audience). They had been lured into a false sense of security after strangely listening to snippets of AC/DC songs blasting out of the sound system while waiting for Mike’s show to begin.
If you want to uncomfortably giggle at holocaust jokes (yeesh), and outrageously laugh at everything else, Mike’s show is definitely one to hit up while he is in town. He is the type of comedian that lets everyone in on the joke, and you leave feeling like you just spent an hour with a good mate having a laugh (until you realise that your friend charged you for your time and that the conversation was pretty one-sided). If you have a spare minute, check it out before he makes his way back to the eastern states.