Gentle and genial international comedy

By Narelle Wood

This little comedy show for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival had me intrigued from the beginning, mostly because CJ Delling is German, and I always figured that a German comedian was something of a cultural oxymoron. My reality shifted a little bit, as I was easily proved wrong; of course Germans can be funny and this German was funny in a particularly endearing, sweet kind of way.

Reality Bandit

CJ’s comedy provided more giggles than jolly belly laughs as she proceeded to ponder her experiences of moving to Australia, getting to stage four in learning English, competing on the Welsh version of Wheel of Fortune and the highs and lows of being a surf-life saver.

The funniest parts, which I find with most comedians, is when they are self-deprecating. These small moments littered through out the show, often seemed more natural and off the cuff than some of the anecdotal stories that were funny but came across a little contrived at times. It may have had something to do with the pacing of the jokes; sometimes the delivery was quick and punchy and other times the story took a while to develop, which meant that the joke became a little more predictable.

The links between the jokes and stories tended to be a touch tenuous, but when the connections were made, for example in the recurring theme of the British Museum, they were done so very well. Most of the jokes hit their mark and CJ did extremely well in the intimate atmosphere to interact and involve the audience in a number of her stories. I do have one gripe though; she never finished telling us the running shoe story. Even though it was only a small piece of a much larger show, it had the promise of being really funny.

While the show’s blurb doesn’t accurately portray what the show is about, Reality Bandit is observational comedy at its sweetest and I could not help but walk out with a smile on my face and thinking that CJ is possibly one of the most endearing German comedians I’m ever likely to meet.

Venue: The Bull and Bear Tavern, 347 Flinders Lane
Season: Wed – Sat 2nd – 12th of April 6.30pm
Tickets: $18 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings: or at the door