A talented storyteller, easygoing performer and all-round nice guy, Matt Okine is a highlight of the festival
This is a review of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival season of The Hat Game.
This might be a controversial opinion, but in his new show, The Hat Game, Matt Okine tells the funniest – and longest – period joke I have ever heard. The joke itself absolutely slays, but he uses it as a launchpad for a side-splitting exegesis that covers race, white privilege, sexism and misogyny, call-out culture, the entire internet, being woke and what it means to be a brown male comedian in 2018.
Okine's show starts slowly, with a lot of chitchat and not a lot of laughs. But once he gets into the swing of things it becomes obvious why he has become the comedy world's darling (he has won an ARIA award for best comedy release in 2015, as well as the Director's Choice Award for MICF 2015 and Best Newcomer Award in 2012, and his show, The Other Guy, is going gangbusters on Stan). He's an incredibly talented storyteller, weaving a Matryoshka doll-like narrative of stories within stories. Just when you think he's forgot one – what did happen with the ATM? wait, what about that phone call? – he picks it up again and advances the story a bit more.
It all builds to an absolute killer finish, which I won't spoil. Okine had the audience in gasping, belly-aching laughter at points, and even during the quieter moments everyone was silently in his thrall, awaiting the next perfect punchline.
Matt Okine's star is definitely on the rise, and you should definitely catch him at MICF this year. Even if you don't like period jokes.