Thursday 11 April 2024

Annie and Lena Have A Talk Show review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

Annie and Lena have a talk show. They may only be mere production assistants on it, but this isn't going to stop the pair from working their way through the ranks to become the hosts of their talk show, "Talk Show"What follows are a number of talk show based sketches with the comedy duo taking on all the roles, including host and guest and everything in between.

There are fun moments in Annie and Lena Have A Talk Show, such as when they play a game of musical chairs and whoever sits on the chair impersonates a famous talk show host. Moon's Drew Barrymore portrayal might only last a few seconds, but it is frighteningly accurate in voice and personality (as well as Moon having a slight resemblance to Barrymore). Their "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets (by Annie and Lena)" is also quite entertaining, particularly with the celebrities they record reading their mean tweets and then have them roast the pair back with VERY sassy retorts. I wish we could have seen more of this creativity.

While portions of the show are improvised, it feels like not enough preparation has gone into the improvisation and we end up with segments falling flat or basic jokes about penises and shit that wear thin quickly. Even the scripted parts seem to sink into cheap penis jokes about animals that could have been funnier if more thought had gone into how to present it rather than basically listing different penises these animals have.

The host / guest element also doesn't really succeed with two "guests" being a bit too similar in their delivery and what they are giving back to the host. Other guests, like a member of the Jackass group and a zoologist start promising but they don’t always land resulting in awkward interactions. In another section, an audience member is on stage being interviewed with Lumsden feeding Moon her lines and instructions off stage, but it doesn't inspire any laughter when we can hear it all and are in on the joke already.

Annie and Lena are a strong pair of comedians and by working together for years, they know how to make the other one laugh, but there needs to be more structure and awareness of what they are looking to achieve with Annie and Lena Have A Talk Show. Hopefully they can find that as the season progresses.


Venue: The Malthouse, 113 Sturt St, Southbank
 until 21 April | Tues - Sat 6:15pm, Sun 5:15pm
 50 minutes
 $27 Full | $25 Conc
 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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