By Nick Pilgrim
For a quarter of a century, triple Gold Logie winner, Rove McManus has been a mainstay on Australian commercial television and radio.
A natural born charmer, McManus quickly rose through the ranks. Earning his stripes on community radio and Channel 31, this pocket rocket soon entered the big leagues with self-titled shows on Channel 9 and Channel 10, as well as a stint in Los Angeles.
His innate ability to put any local or international celebrity at ease made him one of us. There was very little separation between Rove the entertainer, and Rove, the man.
Familiar with his work as a TV talk show host and radio presenter, Awesome Sauce will allow fans and followers to see him in an entirely new light. With the buzzing energy of someone half his age, the ability to live in the moment and feed off the crowd is a joy to behold. Bringing his high-flying style to the plate, it’s quite something to see him work the room and interact with the first few rows up close and personal.
That he covers a wide range of topics and can literally put a funny spin on anything heading his way, makes his humour easy to digest and highly relatable. My plus-one for the evening added if some of the pop culture references weren’t immediately clear, that didn’t matter. His happy-go-lucky persona draws you into the journey anyway.
Right off the bat, a quirky interaction with one audience member mined the comic unexpected gold. Applying the theory that only people in show business earn applause, McManus set up a scenario where we were to shower this individual with fervent clapping.
In a way, that segment set the bar for the remainder of his hour-long set.
McManus covered a multitude of topics; there were many stand-out moments. Mostly, how adults and kids react to the same situation.
Some of the other subject matter included:
- Etiquette at a concert
- Is being confident a bit cocky
- Refusing cake at a party
- Cracking jokes at a eulogy
- Taking on zoo animals
- Misinterpreted autopsies
- Rewarding kids for anything and everything
- Gen X versus Gen Z
- The Queen’s passing
A crackerjack of silly voices and a skilled physical comedian, at times I was reminded of Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Gilda Radner, and Robin Williams all rolled into one. McManus exudes boyish and cheeky confidence; he absolutely owns the stage.
That he could also plant the seed with certain jokes bounced at him, and refer to them in a different context later, takes tremendous concentration. It was truly like watching a masterclass.
The perfect antidote for chasing those Autumn Blues away, Awesome Sauce plays at the Basement Comedy Club on Exhibition Street until Sunday April 9.