Laughing Stock Gala, by Michelle Kot / by Michelle Kot

Big Dog Pod is the fairly recent but heaps Newy comedy institution behind Laughing Stock Comedy Gala bringing the pod out of the burrow and into one of Newcastle’s best designed dining et arts location; The Edwards. Starting off as a live podcast in a bookstore the Dog has grown into its first ever big venue comedy gala and its frothin’ at the bit with seasoned comedians at a decent $10 ticket price on this occasion.

 Photo Credit Chris Wedlock

 Photo Credit Chris Wedlock

Firstly everyone was impressed by the location; understated garage chic in a community arts hub tucked in nicely by the side of an always packed restaurant. By day the space is a legit garage for the owner’s car but by night it’s a warmly lit friend’s backyard. The sold out crowd settled with their Young Henrys as local lad Jack Tideswell; whose comedy star is definitely rising; opened the night. In this setting Tideswell is already the complete package; donning the face wear of his fellow Edwardian punters- a well-kept beard and gentle-manly demeanour in a check shirt. He warmed the crowd with his dulcet tones yet also elicited a bit of an unnerving shiver that maybe you wouldn’t invite him and his dry wit home to meet the folks.

From there it was a gaggle of Sydney and abroad comics that flowed on and off the stage at the skilled orchestration of MTV star and MC of the evening Sam Taunton.  

Canadian Gillian English broke up all the blokiness with an upbeat determination to educate the naive young male hipsters of the crowd about the delicate ecosystem of the female reproductive system. The mostly female crowd were left slapping their thighs and gasping “did she really say that?” whilst the sharply dressed boys nodded and elbowed each other.

Jen Carnovale is usually holding her own with an international festival show but headlined the night professionally dropping the occasional c-bomb yet clarifying that working with stabby kids sometimes drives you to profanities.

Overall the behaved and generous crowd of all ages loved the variety of comedic styles and ease of the setting away from all the seriousness of an election outside. Hope to see the dog in the garage again sometime soon.