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‘I’m not sure that’s going to stay in the show,’ says Tony Law, briefly consulting his notes after one of his jokes baffles even him. ‘Enter the ToneZone’ is still a bit of a work-in-progress. But then that’s the crazed Canadian comic’s whole shtick – he’s chaotic and unprepared. His life is a work-in-progress.
The 44-year-old stand-up is, if you’ll excuse the pun, a law unto himself. His fast-flowing stream-of-consciousness and bellowing absurdism is infectiously funny, and the first half of ‘Enter the ToneZone’ is relentlessly silly. He never quite finishes a thought before gliding into the next topic, creating a sense of loose, ill thought-out chaos. It’s all highly controlled, of course, even if the comic seems confused by his own thoughts. It’s Law at his best.
The lyrca onesie-wearing comic spins yarns about his ridiculous time travelling adventures with Genghis Khan and various punters. There’s a genius double bluff about his shoddy trombone playing skills. And he plays a game of beach ball with a member of the front row that gets huge laughs through it’s sheer stupidity as Law keeps his eyes firmly locked on his opponent.
Every nugget of wisdom or philosophical insight is filtered through his naïve brain until it’s spewed out as a jumble of words and sounds. ‘I don’t like death, but I do like the beach,’ he says, and that pretty much sums up his thought process. No matter how deep he attempts to delve into a big topic he always ends up travelling full-circle to a childlike conclusion.
‘Death’ is a major theme in Law’s latest. He lost a family member earlier this year – his much-loved sausage dog, Cartridge Davidson. He deals with the loss touchingly, and there are witty lines about the moment his five-year-old twins became more emotionally intelligent than their dad. But the story really drags on, and you can feel the energy in the room dip. However, that’s testament to the frenzy he’s whipped up in the first half, and only a slight downer.
The finale could do with some work. Law didn’t know how to end his 2012 show, so wrote a song explaining so. But he’s played that card now and this year’s closing tune, despite being deliberately contrived, feels just that. But, once again, Law’s come up with another hour of deliciously barmy, unpredictable lunacy. Classic ToneZone.
‘Tony Law – Enter the ToneZone’ is at the Stand Comedy Club III, 12.10pm