Dane Simpson: Origins review

Comedy, Stand Up
3 out of 5 stars
Dane Simpson: Origins Melbourne Comedy Festival 2019
Photograph: Supplied

The Simpsons from Wagga Wagga might become Australia’s new favourite family

Dane Simpson faced a dilemma in his mid-thirties. He was happily living in Wagga Wagga and working as a social worker. But one night he told a joke on stage and soon became a finalist in the Deadly Comedy competition and performed in Aborigi-LOL at last year’s comedy festival. Should he give up his secure job to chase a dream in the most insecure industry?

Simpson has worked his way up from that first joke about Walgett in mid-north NSW – and one a middle-aged white woman from the city can’t tell – to short bits to his first solo show. Origins is that show and it’s about how he discovered his style of comedy and made his decision.

He hasn’t found his bigger story yet and at times seems surprised that he’s really performing a show, but that doesn’t matter when he tells stories about his family. His joy in talking about them is so genuine that the only disappointment is that we don’t FaceTime his dad in Walgett to get a last-minute pun.

This Simpson family are funny in all those ways that people don’t think are funny. Like the older brother who couldn’t play I-spy as kid and his mum whose determination to have a successful garage sale is more impressive than her determination to overcome being forced out of primary school because she was Aboriginal. And that’s before we hear from the Wagga elder who thinks Dane should go on Dancing with the Stars, even if he can’t dance.

By: Anne-Marie Peard

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