MICF – Adrian Bliss Inside Everyone

by | Apr 22, 2024

By Nick Pilgrim

Running for three madcap weeks between March and April, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival grew from modest beginnings almost four decades ago to the world-renowned behemoth it has become today.

A mixture of new and established talent, the event is also known for pushing boundaries and punters’ buttons. With an influx of social media stars this year, the program continues to expand upon and redefine the very meaning of live comedy.

What began as a happy accident, Adrian Bliss is a prime example of this exciting new wave.

A budding film maker by trade, Bliss and some friends used to make shorts and commercials after school simply for the fun of it. The turning point came from teaching himself a new piece of video editing software. Uploading the final product to YouTube out of curiosity simply to see what total strangers thought, that clip became viral overnight.

Now over seven years later, the results speak for themselves. To date, Bliss has amassed millions of followers on YouTube (5.87M) and Tiktok (7.9M). For the uninitiated, Bliss often overhauls famous moments in history as well as giving voice to inanimate objects. (Why not run a search on either platform, and, check out his clips for yourself.)

A gentle blend of deadpan British and North American humour, I am instantly reminded of small screen legends such as :

  • Armstrong & Miller,
  • Carol Burnett & Friends,
  • Chicago’s Second City,
  • French & Saunders,
  • In Living Color,
  • Kids In The Hall,
  • MAD TV, and,
  • The Tracey Ullman Show,

The list goes on.

My biggest question before attending Inside Everyone on Saturday night at Southbank’s Malthouse Theatre, was how his online persona would translate to the open stage. Keeping my expectations intact, Bliss blew me away with a journey unlike any other I had seen this or any year at the festival. In short, the UK-based entertainer is a genius.

An hour-long presentation blending multimedia technology, pre-recorded voiceovers and tightly-choreographed stagecraft, Inside Everyone is the story of a modest atom whose goal is to experience significant moments in time for itself.

Parodying the likes of David Attenborough, Bliss also has the wry stage presence of Lily Tomlin (The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe) and the late Spalding Grey (Monster In A Box, Swimming To Cambodia).

The fun begins when Bliss takes these templates several outrageous steps further. Known for a costume haul bigger than Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe collection, Inside Everyone examines key milestones and twists them into hilarious episodes like:

  • A dinosaur’s doomsday selfie pose,
  • Pandora resisting temptation,
  • The Virgin Mary bargaining with God for better creature comforts,
  • An earth worm’s daily life,
  • Julius Caesar’s lunch break,
  • Shakespeare at the tenth annual Globe Theatre Awards,
  • Van Gogh’s severed ear,
  • Mary Anning’s newest palaeontology discovery, and
  • Hitler’s Dad’s other sperm.

The biggest surprise is the inclusion of three catchy and original songs. Expanding upon several of the abovementioned moments, it should be noted that Bliss performs these tunes live.

He also has that rare ability to banter and interact with the audience, and on one occasion made light of a missing onstage outfit which brought down the house.

Very much a show tailored for fans and followers alike, Inside Everyone makes my job reviewing a tremendous privilege, and the perfect way to close out this year’s festival. From here, next week Bliss will play at select capital cities around Australia as well.

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