Don’t let Jacques Barrett’s fancy French name fool you. The Queensland born, Melbourne based comic knows how to tell a fart joke. In an increasingly divided world, his latest show, Lowest Common Denominator, explores the very thing that brings us all together: shared hatred. And it works well. His material takes aim at the things we can all get behind, jabbing at the people and those everyday annoyances. Barrett’s brand of humor is quick-witted and intellectual, but not in a condescending way. This captivating and endearing ramble/rant is made all the more enjoyable with his deeply relatable divulgences and witticisms.
Barrett comes from over ten years in the hospitality industry as a bartender, so it is clear to see that he understands people and what makes them tick. He sets the tone by firing off some pretty sharp quips about everyday annoyances. This quickly gives way to jokes on deeper social problems, drawing the audience in. Expertly, he weaves together controversial topics like homophobia and racism with anecdotes about his dad’s flatulence. Throw in a couple of double entendres and clever callbacks and it is obvious that Barrett is a talented comedian who knows how to capture the audience.
His self-deprecation brings an extra layer of hilarity. He strikes a chord with the audience, from stories about KFC castings to a powerpoint presentation on his awkward teenage years. A spiel on smoking weed turns into a hysterical account of a misunderstanding with a child sex offender and it absolutely killed. Barrett masterfully walks the line between edgy and distasteful. This is something that is not easy to do, reflecting how he has mastered his craft. He manages to skilfully take a jab at contentious issues whilst still remaining inclusive to a diverse audience. An incredibly charismatic performer, his relaxed attitude complimented his conversational material perfectly.
There were some times where Barrett lost the audience, but he never failed to recover, pulling them right back in with his pedestrian charm. He was able to glide over technical difficulties and hecklers with ease and style, never letting these minor faults detract from his overall performance. It just goes to show Barrett’s versatility and ability to adapt to the crowd. Even a momentary failure to land was quickly put back on track before you could even notice. He was consistently on the ball and was able to go right for the comedy jugular, punchline after punchline.
Barrett creates a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, ensuing a steady stream of laughter (and a couple of gasps here or there). He is an experienced comedian, without ever seeming pretentious or jaded. It is evident from how easily he builds a rapport with the audience that he knows what he is doing. A hilarious and reliable bet, guaranteed to bring you plenty of laughs and just the right amount of introspection. I would definitely recommend catching one of his intimate and smart shows if you get the chance.
Overall, I’d give this one a solid 4.1 dad bods out of five.
Ava Cadee | @avacadee