Dave Hughes Live

October 26th, 2006 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

Dave Hughes has a strange but undeniable appeal. Although unmistakenly blokey, he has an air of vulnerability, almost as if he doesn’t really know what he’s doing and is afraid someone will find out. Even his look is a paradox — slightly unshaven and brawny, but with his eager, gap-toothed smile he’s almost like a happy child. He bounces from a cynical, drawling guy next door to a desperate kid asking permission to make a filthy joke in one breath.

It may well be the case. After a long and unsuccessful attempt at real careers that resulted in many years on the dole, he now incorporates shades of being a lovable loser in his act.

Drawing strongly on his own life and background (such as the fact that he’s never had much success with women and has only had two girlfriends) gives Hughesy a lot of his material, along with the usual comment on the absurdities of life that are the stand up comic’s usual stock in trade.

The main feature of Dave Hughes Live is as the name suggests — a recording of a show performed to a packed and appreciative house in Adelaide.

Hughesy mostly has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. He never stays for too long on one subject and often asks those in the front few rows questions to spur his act on, which makes it look all the more unplanned. He’s not above idle profanity to make a point, and his humour is more obtuse than truly observational, although no less funny for it.

The extras include a backstage tour, a very funny scripted travelogue explaining Hughesy’s travels on tour and a bizarre feature of Hughesy with the Commonwealth Games baton.


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