Then a pandemic hit this Sydney-sider’s career. His MICF 2021 offering is Rooster, which may relate to being good looking, or to how lockdown can quickly drop you into “feather duster” territory. Happily, Taunton is taking flight now.
Taunton lived in Melbourne for five years, giving him a stash of Sydney-Melbourne comparisons to draw on. Noting that Sydney had minor disruptions from COVID, Sam Taunton – or is it Sam Taunting? – asked: “Did you get a little COVID down here?” He proceeded to explain that the virus-induced chaos seen in Melbourne, but not Sydney, was the fault of the former’s liveability.
The comic paints himself as someone who doesn’t think too much. According to him, you don’t have to listen in conversations, you’re just waiting for a chance to comment on your interests. Taunton was also surprised at how moving from a share house to a one-bedroom apartment made his life less social.
A curious benefit of lockdown was the chance to seek greater self-awareness; cancelled tours meant time to go back over old critiques. Displaying these on a screen, he noted quite positive reviews may describe him as lacking distinctiveness.
He may have made some effort to address this by including a tale of being hit by a car at 16, his favourite chicken shop back home in Nowra, and his tendency to be overly apologetic.
Yet, we don’t get to learn too much about potentially important matters, like what drives him, or why his mother has returned to dating. It would be interesting to see what could happen should Taunton continue putting more of himself in his routines.
Taunton scored good laughs consistently across the set, such as on a dismal corporate gig, what he’s overheard at McDonalds’ drive-through, or seen on other people’s phones on public transport.
He cruised confidently through a solid, well-produced hour of comedy that doesn’t rely on sex-talk or bad language. The audience appreciated the “call backs”, and there’s a nice link between sections to close. I expect this will be a better set than many at MICF 2021.
Sam Taunton: Rooster
The Westin, 205 Collins Street, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 27 March 2021 – 7.40pm
Season continues to 18 April 2021
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Sam Taunton (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte