Much like a comedy groupie (back when I lived in Melbourne in the early 2000s), I’ve had a drink and a chat with Stephen K. Amos, finding out that what he’s like on-stage is exactly how he is off it, warm, friendly, and just a fun person to be around. Coming back to Adelaide Fringe, after a covid-enforced break, Amos has brought two years’ worth of new material with him. And, never having a real chance to perform it in front of a live audience we, the Adelaide crowd, are his comedy guinea pigs for the next few weeks. This brilliant comedian had us right in the palm of his hand, on Friday night, leaving us with tears rolling down our cheeks. It’s nice to see that with over twenty years of stand-up comedy under his belt, Stephen K. Amos is still the warm, friendly comedian that I met all those years ago!
Arriving on stage with a clipboard and a pen, Amos welcomes us to his show and explains that most live venues have been closed in England so he doesn’t know whether his jokes will work or not. This set the precedent for the evening as, if a joke works, people in the audience spontaneously started to yell out ‘TICK!’ - or if it doesn’t work, ‘CROSS!’ It’s the kind of spontaneity that Amos thrives on. Because whether his structured material works or not, his greatest gift is managing to ad-lib and go off-topic. Whether it’s to berate a heckler in the audience, jovially pick on a perfume salesman named Pierre, or be absolutely flabbergasted by a family who brought their three little girls to the performance, only to leave in the first five minutes due to all the swearing because they thought it was a PG show.
And although he went off-topic on a number of hilarious occasions, Amos’ main theme of the show was centred on the idea that there is no perfect way to get through life. It’s actually serious and very poignant, but his delivery and sharp comedic tongue offer something different than just a boring old sermon about going to high school, getting a job, and finding love. His brother may be the favourite one in the family for becoming a doctor, but it’s Amos who delivers the best medicine, as I haven’t laughed so hard in a stand-up show in a long time.
Five Stars ****