There is no doubt Stephen K Amos enjoys a high profile on the international comedy scene. In Australia where he regularly tours, he attracts huge audiences. Undoubtedly his regular appearances on television in all manner of celebrity quiz and charity gala comedy shows heighten his profile here.
Thus it was a packed house who settled in to enjoy The Spokesman on Thursday evening.
The super relaxed Mr Amos opened his remarks with a few ostensibly fond observations about returning to Perth: its traffic, its road works. Thence to Prime Minister “Hulio Gillard” and her timely visits to flooded areas, promises of money and subsequent call for an election. “Does she control the weather?”
After a few further diversions he hit his main topic of the show, the role of the spokesperson. A fair choice given how much the media uses the term. Interestingly I had never heard him speak so candidly about his homosexuality, probably because I had never seen a live stage performance before. Television is, or used to be, subject to more stringent restrictions.
In no way offensive, and indeed roundly supported by vocal members of the audience, Amos explored gay rights, New Zealand politics and his own remarkable similarity to Jesus.
Pursuing the theme of The Spokesman he moved on to role models as spokespeople: Lance Armstrong, Jimmy Saville and, dare we whisper his name, Uncle Rolf !
Amos’s own shortcomings placed him off-limits as a spokesperson/role model. His fear of water. He can’t swim; ”In Australia?”
He called for other phobias and was rewarded with a rich mine to work upon including moths and beards.
Amos hit comedy gold when he started working the front row audience members. Amongst them was a potential young comedian. An amazingly composed 14 year old, named amusingly enough, Kevin. Milking it for every drop, Amos managed to elicit his Danish heritage (while discussing fear of flying. “Have you ever been on a plane Kevin?”)
So it went on, including Kevin’s elder sister and her boyfriend, who were also in attendance. The crowd roared and Kevin seemingly withstood the pressure, even managing to gag along with Amos. It could have been cruel but Amos declaimed “Thank you Comedy Gods!” and then chided Kevin for upstaging him!
After exhorting Kevin to read a prepared statement of apology for his own misdeeds, Amos indulged the long time fans by calling for old favourite gags and jokes. They responded with alacrity.
A good time was had by all.