He promised 110% and that’s exactly what he gave. Michael Shafar’s comedy is clever, and at times quite the gut-punch, and you can see him now at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (an event he has been selling out since 2017 so get those tickets quick).
Adding to his TV and radio credits on shows including the Project and Triple J, Shafar’s 110% is running at the Mantra on Russell until the 18th of April and plays to that specific type of dark comedy that at times takes you a while to get, but then when that punchline clicks you keel over in stitches – but then also feel bad for laughing – that is his particular brand of comedy.
Nobody is safe from Shafar’s brutal humour, as he rips into skinny jean wearers and naturopaths alike. But his best material is that which is centred around himself. I can always appreciate someone who can have a laugh at their own expense, and Shafar does this impeccably.
In fact, his self-deprecation knows no bounds as he finds the funny related to his cancer diagnosis. In his show, which is coinciding with Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, Shafar talks about his own battle with the disease in 110%, having been diagnosed in 2017, spending 2 years in remission and then relapsing last year amid what was already a challenging year having to deal with a global pandemic.
What may seem to some as a difficult thing to joke about, Shafar instead believes it to be almost cathartic to laugh at his own misfortune. In a piece he wrote for Onya last month he said, “it’s genuinely meaningful talking about it on stage,” as it helps him connect with people who may have similar stories. “I’ve had so many people come up to me after shows to share their own personal cancer experience with me…Those chats mean more to me than getting a big laugh or a round of applause.”
I certainly believe this to be the case. Whilst I (thankfully) don’t share his experiences, I found that Shafar had an on-stage presence that was so conversational and warm that I could definitely see why those who do share in these experiences find him relatable. He seemed so down to earth in fact, that I was quickly at ease after being seated in the front row – something that many have warned is a dangerous game at any comedy show.
So, if you’re having trouble thinking of where to take your partner for your next date night, or you’re just having a long day and need a good laugh after work, head down to the Mantra on Russell, grab a drink at the bar and let Michael Shafar help you find the funny in life’s unavoidable hardships.