Adelaide Fringe Festival Review: Dave Callan: Every Video Clip Ever* – Rhino Room (Performances to March 12th)

Ever sat in the living room watching music videos and wondered to yourself, “What the hell is going on here,”? Well, Dave Callan has. And in his riotous fringe show for 2017, he takes you deep into the weirdness that is music videos.

Some would say MTV have a lot to answer for. As a comedian, Dave has naturally chosen to take the lighter approach to the music video industry, rather than putting any serious thought into why the directors of these clips made the ‘artistic’ choices they did. Having just shown us the clip for “Turn Down For What” in which a guy continuously breaks things with his penis, Dave comments, “Remember kids, someone pitched this idea in a boardroom and someone else said yes AND gave them thousands of dollars to do it. So never give up on your dreams.”

Dave’s raw stand up talent opens the show as he walks us through mondegreens (misheard lyrics) and spends some time commenting on the quirkier elements of 80s and 90s music videos. Particular attention was paid to, as Dave calls him, “our Lord and Saviour Daryl Braithwaite.” By the end of this part of the show, my lungs were entirely bereft of air I had been laughing so hard. But there was no relief in sight because what came next took it to a whole new level.

And so the real meat of the show began. Using two female back up dancers and a barrow full of cheap props, Dave literally danced us through every music video from 1988 to 2017. From Michael Jackson to Kylie to Taylor Swift, they were all there. The aforementioned mondegreens were seamlessly integrated into the choreography too. But the highlight had to be Dave standing perfectly still while swinging a Barbie glued to a miniature disco ball as a visual representation of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”.

It’s difficult to capture with words the aesthetic pleasure of this show. In case you’ve never enjoyed his comedy before, Dave is a slightly pudgy long-haired 40-something guy with a beard and an Irish accent. Now imagine someone like that doing 10-20 seconds of choreography from the cheesiest music videos ever made. Already laughing, aren’t you? What made this show brilliant though, was Dave’s commitment. It was hot, and he clearly had to learn masses of choreography. But that sure didn’t stop him from giving 110%. It was funny because he had just enough rhythm to make the moves believable and the right amount of sarcasm to make them funny.

Truth is, you had to be there. So if you ever get the chance, be there. Just a fantastic night out and a testament to what the Fringe is all about.

Dave Callan: Every Video Clip Ever continues at the Rhino Room at the Adelaide Fringe Festival through 12th March. For tickets and more details head HERE. The reviewer attended the performance on 2nd March.