Monday, May 18, 2015
Fringe 2015 review: "Jon Bennett: My Dad's Deaths"
By Seth Kubersky
on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 2:55 PM
"My Dad’s Deaths
" details with mirthful meticulousness the many ways Bennett’s dad has very nearly bought the farm – ironic, as he’s a pig farmer – from falling off a ladder on the day of Jon’s birth to choking himself unconscious on soda water bubbles to contracting a disease from drinking pig urine. When he wasn’t busy having near-death experiences, Bennett’s dad busied himself making his son’s life a living hell, in the way that only someone who is simultaneously your parent, teacher, coach and minister could do.
Bennett’s father wanted him to be a bush poet, like Aussie hero Banjo Peterson, but Jon wasn’t cut out to write endless unrhymed verse about horses; birthday poems that liken childbirth to “masturbating with a baby-sized dildo” are more his speed. But as side-splittingly outrageous as his material may be, the love he expresses for his dad throughout the jabs is genuinely touching; as their relationship develops, I became emotionally invested almost to the point of tears, until the twist-ending epilogue pulled the rug out from under me.
Embarrassing (and being embarrassed by) our parents is a universal experience everyone can identify with, and Bennett’s take on the topic provided some of the biggest belly laughs I’ve had all Fringe.
Jon Bennett: My Dad's Deaths
2HOOTS PRODUCTIONS - Australia
Length: 70 minutes
Rating: 13 and up
Australian comic Jon Bennett has traveled the world pretending things are his cock, done a one-man show about his incarcerated meth-addict brother, and generally done everything possible to make his conservative father embarrassed of him. Using the PowerPoint-based presentation style he perfected in his last two hit shows, Bennett has come back with another hilariously hyperactive rant that practically ensures he’ll be written out of the will.