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| November 14, 2019

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Cartoobs and Other Typos: First Dog on the Moon - Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Cartoobs and Other Typos: First Dog on the Moon – Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Aicha Marhfour

First Dog on the Moon (real name: Andrew Marlton) may not be known to audiences outside Australia (and indeed, to a large number of uninformed Australians as well), but ignorance here is no longer bliss. Cartoonist for the website Crikey, First Dog has taken time out of his busy schedule of scrawling and shaping daily toon-based missives to tour his first show, ‘Cartoobs and other Typos.’

Cartoobs is a wander through the mind of one of Australia’s unsung political satirists. I write ‘unsung,’ but the man could easily print ‘Acclaimed Journalist’ on his business cards without feeling a pang of conscience. It seems that he likes a challenge, and just to make us all wonderfully jealous, has embarked upon his first Comedy Festival Show, made possible by crowd-funding site Pozible.

While his cartoons are the only reason why a sane and balanced mind opens up the Crikey daily newsletter of an afternoon, does his stand up (pardon me here) stand up? To this question that I have just posed myself, I answer: yes. Resoundingly so. Unlike some acts who deliver a whizzbang of lights and sounds and noise to bamboozle the senses into a form of pre-epileptic submission, First Dog wisely chose to deliver ‘Cartoobs’ via PowerPoint. In a small room in a hotel where there would be nothing to mask the shame of an unprepared comedian or an unfunny joke. It’s fortunate that he has the comedy to back up the chutzpah because it was a hoot.

Cute cartoons, cat photos and a whole lot of false bravado were cleverly interwoven with heart-warming tales of feminism and family and then booted home as he sang Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ whilst playing a ukulele and wearing a bandicoot’s tail and ears.

Few grown men would do that, and even fewer during their debut Comedy Festival show. But First Dog, clearly isn’t your typical grown man (or dog). And for that we can be thankful, as we wouldn’t have had the hour of joy that was ‘Cartoobs and Other Typos’ if he was.

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