MICF – Tom Gleeson Gear

by | Apr 5, 2024

By Chenoah Eljan

Tom Gleeson is a grumpy middle aged white man, and he does not care who knows it. In fact, if you park your van outside his house, ask him to contribute to your ‘Go Fund Me’ for a new electric Volvo, or you happen to be a fellow comedian who has ever even looked at him the wrong way, he will make sure you know it. Gleeson himself knows it, and it is this self-awareness that make his stroppy anecdotes laugh-out-loud funny. To open, Gleeson welcomes the audience and thanks them for spending their comedy dollars on a middle aged white man, “you’re real risk takers” he says while rolling his eyes. He is right, there is no risk in spending your comedy dollars on Gleeson’s show; he is a stalwart of the Melbourne comedy scene and one of Australian comedy’s best known faces for a reason. He is funny, and polished, relaxed and at home on stage. He lays out his myriad of “difficult opinions” for the audience just as you can imagine he would to anyone caught in the kitchen with him at a neighbourhood barbeque.

Gleeson’s show is titled ‘Gear’ for reasons lost on this reviewer. It could well be a typo; a more suitable name would have been “The Ballad of Alonzo.” This is because every single audience member no doubt leaves the show and immediately googles American comedian Alonzo Boden. The hits Boden gets from Gleeson’s revenge served cold may well be the pinnacle of Boden’s career. Likewise, the present moment may well be the pinnacle of Gleeson’s career, he currently hosts two “smash hit” TV shows – Hard Quiz and Taskmaster – has been touring this stand-up show around Australia to much acclaim and is still riding the tailwind of his 2019 Gold Logie win for Most Popular Personality on Australian television. Things are going so well for Gleeson he owns not just two cars, but two houses. Also, he has a wife that sounds pretty great, and a neighbour called Norma who has his back.

You do not need to be a Gleeson fan to enjoy this show. This is standup comedy that does what it says on the packet. It may not sound like high praise to say Gear constitutes a very safe bet. It is absolutely funny and appropriately thought-provoking, but for all its guise of pushing the envelope Gleeson’s material is palatable to a very wide range of palates. You can take your mom to this show, or a Hinge date with only friends-with-benefits potential at best, and you are guaranteed a great night either way.

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