Oh my God, you leh! The dudes who made both Fat Pizza and Housos are coming back for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Fully sick, brah!
It’s been 15 years since Fat Pizza started way back in 2000. I was in Year 7 that year, so 13 year old me was very impressionable with the show and I’ve been a fan of it and its spin off Housos since. I had been to the Housos show at last year’s festival, so I knew what low brow mayhem I was in for. And I don’t mean “low brow” as a criticism; it’s crude, it’s in your face, and anyone who’s lived in a dodgy suburb in Australia will immediately identify with the ferals the show’s making fun. (On that note, there were heaps of jokes at the expense of suburbs like Frankston, Sunshine, Broadmeadows and Werribee). Actually, it’s a fine line between whether the show was satirising or praising bogans; even more blurred thanks to their documentary TV series Bogan Hunters. (Nana Shaz from that show happened to be in the audience that night!).
In fact, the show’s playing up it’s political incorrectness, making jokes at authority figures and Centrelink for trying to ruin the bogan way of life. One of the mock pull quotes on the show’s poster reads, “Waste of tax payers money”. Paul Fenech and co are out to take the piss out of the media as well as “the system”.
The characters tell funny stories of their woes from single mum Shaz getting in trouble with her kids’ school for confusing tablets with Samsung Tablets, Jimmy The Junkie claiming he’s Tony Abbott’s long lost son (the resemblance is hilarious!), and Kev the Kiwi’s complaining about his nagging loud mouthed wife Vanessa, and Lebanese drug dealer Habib talking about his drug deals while visiting Melbourne. There were even a few singalongs to the tune of Aussie classics ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ and ‘Khe Sanh’ reworked as bogan anthems and a goon drinking contest with some willing spectators.
At the end, Paul Fenech was genuinely grateful for everyone coming along to see them and all the support the fans have given him and his shows for the past 15 years. These guys may be coarse, but they have a lot of heart. Despite what the uptight crowd Fenech’s shows make fun of say, Fat Pizza Vs Housos is true Australiana.
(If anyone’s wondering, no, Swift And Shift Couriers didn’t get a mention. Shame, it was a good show too).
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Thursday 26 March 2015