The tail end of last week saw Canadian comedian Glenn Wool bring his show No Land’s Man to the Perth International Comedy Festival. Despite his globe trotting career path, these gigs marked his first time performing in Perth. Wool certainly knows how to push boundaries with his comedy; with most topics fair game, from bodily parasites, terrorist slaying and a bit of casual avian bestiality banter. Whilst the politically correct and staunch conservatives of the world may have disapproved, Wool’s audience certainly didn’t seem to mind.
It’s perhaps testament to his skill as a performer and comedian, that he can open with a joke about having sex with a swan, and still have the audience firmly onside. He’s a charismatic performer, and whilst he does occasionally get a bit shouty, his comedy is quite subtle in the build up. A fair bulk of the show is dedicated to a Indonesian immigration strip search incident; with Wool working through a number of different equally funny scenarios to explain his wry smile to the interrogator about to perform the search. In the hands of other comedians this could have seemed drawn out and tedious, yet Wool keeps the audience engaged with a mixture of adolescent enthusiasm and one-upmanship.
Some of his funniest material came at the expense of the Americans, cheerfully pointing out the moral hypocrisy of being gun loving, but being completely offended by the C-word. Post Bush America has become a bit of a punching bag for comics all round the world, but Wool in a way bucks the trend slightly, by also praising the US Navy Seals for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Throughout the set it also became clear that Wool has an eye for the surreal and can navigate his way through a good story, whether it be about the beaver messiah, interspecial mating, or even the despair of missing Iron Maiden at Pukkelpop in Belgium.
A solid stand-up performance, and one that despite the subject matter, never dips to the level of toilet humour. A deceptively intelligent and philosophical performer, Wool is worth checking out when he ventures to your town. Though if you’re easily offended, probably give him a miss.