Reviewed at Tandanya on 20 February 2019
Presented by Snake Pit
Definitely gay, but not so stupid, John Robles and his unusual part-Australian, part-American accent take the audience on a journey through the various highs, lows and weight-gaining moments of life as a gay 23-year-old male.
Natural charisma and likeability is hard to find in many these days, but as soon as Robles steps on stage, his bright, welcoming smile lights up the room. There is an immediate bond with the audience and it feels less like you’re judging a random comedian and more like you’re supporting a good friend at their first gig, creating a comfortable atmosphere.
Robles covers a range of humorously relatable topics including stumbling across bizarre Tinder bios, awkward high school crushes and the societal pressure to look a certain way. He also shares with the audience his not-so relatable matters such as his healthy (he claims) lust for his therapist, his strange obsession with Spongebob Squarepant’s sexuality (it’s a debatle topic) and some rather worrying thoughts about his father.
In reality, Robles doesn’t really come across as stupid, but rather more of a loud chatterbox which naturally works well for stand-up. Unfortunately, though, his nerves do appear to get the better of him at times and although seemingly necessary, reading notes off of his laptop detracts from the overall performance. These nerves do contrast with his occasional bursts of confidence which leave the audience in fits of laughter thanks to his natural charisma and skills in improvisation.
When interacting with the audience, Robles definitely appears more relaxed and presents many humorous moments with witty remarks and clever banter. Where some comedians struggle when faced with sharing the stage, Robles embraces the clever improvisation needed to make it work and this is definitely one of the stronger comedic aspects within his show. His true comedic talent also shines through when elements of acting are involved including his attempt at an amusing British accent to denote past incidents so as not to cause confusion with more recent life scenarios.
Once Robles’ has embraced his natural talent, relinquishes the use of notes on his laptop and has found his confidence, Gay and Stupid will be a truly fun piece of standup to experience at this year’s Adelaide Fringe.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: Tandanya Arts Café at Live from Tandanya, 253 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, 5000
Season: 20 Feb – 3 March 2019
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $17.25 – $24