He’s also successfully branched out into musical comedy in partnership with skinny man Sammy J, and this morphed into the tv series Ricketts Lane. Now aged 40, Randy feels the need to think about where he’s come from, and where he’s going, in Purple Privilege.
Surprisingly, the review night was the first Randy show for many punters. Old and new fans alike were treated to certain hallmarks of Mr Feltface’s performances. You can count on bursts of manic energy, tales of excesses, some cutting observations, and material that aims much higher than low-brow humour.
Given the interruption to his career upswing caused by COVID, Randy’s had time to wonder if he’s having a mid-life crisis. He recalls what should have been his big break in 2018: an eight-week Off-Broadway run of Randy Writes a Novel.
The general disinterest of impatient New Yorkers in existential angst made an expected career highlight an extended trial. Randy needed to find some way to deal with this crushing disappointment.
Those familiar with Randy’s output know how he’s mined his past for comedy gold. The show’s MICF blurb indicates the continuation of this: “Did someone order an origin story?”
It wouldn’t be fair to spoil the surprise of the non-linear narrative, but as one of the voices in the piece admits, some of the material was written on the day of the show’s opening at the 2021 Adelaide Fringe. This last-minute activity may have contributed to this show being not as finely wrought as we are accustomed to from Randy.
Even if Randy hasn’t matched his own high standards, if experience is any guide, there’s still more to enjoy here than you will find in many festival offerings. The audience had a good number of laugh out (very) loud moments across the hour.
Randy had some sharp observations on the nature of “reality” television, informed by his time on the US stand-up comedy competition show Bring the Funny.
Fans will certainly learn something new about how Randy got to be the man he is today. The show’s threads may (or may not) knit together more convincingly over the course of the MICF season.
Regardless, an evening with Randy is certainly never boring, and it was my privilege to revisit this character’s blend of the philosophical and prickly.
Randy Feltface: Purple Privilege
Lower Town Hall – Melbourne Town Hall, 100 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Friday 26 March 2021 – 9:20pm
Season continues to 18 April 2021
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Randy Feltface (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte