Spats: not something ordinarily associated with stand-up comedy, but then neither is Earl Okin. The only act ever to open for Paul McCartney’s Wings, this self-professed “musical genius and sex symbol” represents an unlikely fusion of bossa nova and belly laughs, not to mention damn fine footwear.
The singer-songwriter/jazz impresario/cabaret artist/comedian, currently en route to this month’s comedy club from his native London via Bombay, has performed alongside everyone from Cleo Laine to Billy Connolly. He’s racked up more than 500 shows at Edinburgh’s famous Fringe festival since 1983 and his extraordinary renditions of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Teenage Dirtbag rendered The Advisor team near-incontinent with laughter.
In 2004, Earl – a staple of the Notting Hill scene – was signed as the new face of MTV2 on the back of such brilliance. Speaking at the time, he told journalists: “I will now either be a cult figure for the under 25s, OR you’ll hear about me being beaten severely about the head and neck by irate Nirvana fans. Watch this space!”
Watch it we have – and, fortunately, he’s still in one piece; a piece which apparently goes everywhere clad in a three-piece suit and the aforementioned spats.
Asked to say something funny by The Advisor, Earl – ever the crooner – quipped: “Please let the Cambodian ladies know that, although yes, you CAN meet me and even touch me, I will just not have the time to spend with you in the way that I know you'd like me to do. Sorry, ladies...” Audience, you have been warned.
Joining Earl at Pontoon on March 19 will be Arizona survivor Tommy Dean, who “upgraded” to Australia 20 years ago and has since become one of the continent’s most cherished stand-ups. He’s been described as having “more spin” than cricket legend Shane Warne and has rubbed professional shoulders with comedy doyens Tim Alan and Rosie O’Donnell. “Not your stereotypical Yank, this is an American who eats Vegemite and understands cricket,” says fellow comic Jonathan Atherton, who launched the inaugural comedy night last year. “His comedy is intelligent, insightful and as sharp as a tack.”
Challenging both for the spotlight will be the first ever Filipino-Canadian stand-up, Ron Josol – one of North America’s “funniest comedians, full-stop”, says Atherton. “Ron is a high-energy, positive performer who brings a unique Asian-Canadian perspective to his comedy.” In 2000, Ron bagged top slot in the Craven A’s funniest home-grown competition at Montreal’s Just For Laughs, the world’s biggest international comedy festival. Not to be sniggered at.
Be there. We sure as hell will.
WHO: Earl Okin, Tommy Dean, and Ron Josol
WHAT: International comedy geniuses
WHERE: Pontoon, St.172
WHEN: 8pm March 19
WHY: Seriously funny
This article was 1st published in The Advisor - All back issues are available as downloads here
"Like" the Advisor on Facebook