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May 10, 2010 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Josie Long – Be Honourable

Josie Long begins her blog with “Hello, my name is Josie and this is going to be rad. I am a stand-up comedian but I can’t promise you’ll think I’m any good.” Which is really all you need to know about her. She’s trying as hard as she can and that’s the most we can ask of her.

She’s also, for my money, by far and away one of the best comedians working today. Her shows phase quickly beyond being the cavalcade of loosely structured punchlines that you could go and gratefully grasp anywhere else in the comedy world into wide ranging, hilarious and often a little profound expositions on life. Her shows are full of joy, life and exuberance. She is also extremely, properly hilarious.

Be Honourable continues the thread running through all of her shows (Be Honorable is her fourth full hour) of her own personal self-improvement, of her continuing quest to better herself and the world around her. She wants to inspire audiences and she wants to do it unironically. How much her earnestness feeds into her funny really puts to shame all the comics out there who so visibly shy away from any real feeling in their work, keeping a cool ironic distance between the audience, the performer and the jokes.

Be Honorable is, in an incredibly unspoken way, about growing up. Where once it was her hipster credentials that she made much fun of, now it is the fact that she is 29 and still considered a “young” comedian. The narrative arc of the show starts with her achieving the lofty goals of youth and then facing down the great barrel of what to do now?

She also looks at lots of photos of food on the internet.

While her first three shows (Kindness and Exuberance, Trying is Good and All of the Planet’s Wonders (described in detail)) were about her journey inwards, whether it be towards her own need for knowledge or simply the construction of her personality, Be Honorable becomes very quickly about her journey towards reaching out to other people. A bulk of the show is made up of conversations she has had with strangers, both amusing and otherwise.

Above all else, Be Honourable is a profound statement of action. It is about doing good. Doing the right thing. Being honourable. She urges her audiences into action, and for once, you can feel even the most jaded audience member being stirred.

Josie Long is a genius. If there is anything better than this in the comedy festival, I will eat a copy of this issue of Salient.


Josie Long—Be Honourable
At Club Ivy
4 – 8 May 2010


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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