Grande laughs

I saw Ben Elton performing stand-up at the Aotea Centre tonight. It was a really enjoyable night’s comedy. I want to attempt to describe the comedy, but I won’t because I know that my retelling a) won’t be funny, and b) will probably ruin the jokes for future viewers of the DVD (there’d better be a DVD).

I will say, however, that it was politically themed, but reasonably clever, and still with a few good ol’ knob gags. He even made a mother-in-law joke, which seemed to be most subversive of the lot, given that Ben Elton was one of the subjects (and cover stars) of Roger Wilmut’s 1989 book “Didn’t You Kill My Mother-in-Law?“, about the young comedians of the 1980s who dragged British comedy out of the sexist old-man comedians telling mother-in-law jokes and into a brash, rude, politicised new era.

But what affected me the most were his observations on consumption and size. I mean, we kind of knew that everything was getting bigger and that we are consuming more, but since when, Mr Elton asked, did we start selling coffee in pints? It’s true! A Starbucks grande size is 16 fl oz, otherwise known as one pint. When milk used to be sold in glass bottles, that was a pint. Now we drink almost that much milk in one go in a latte.

Entertainment, education and knob gags. It made the $60 ticket price well worth it.

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