Michael Schafer – Getting Better
The Squeaker, Gluttony
Review by Sarah List
After catching Schafer’s excellent 2019 show 50/50, I was pretty excited to hear that he was back in Adelaide with a new show Getting Better. Schafer is mostly autobiographical, featuring vignettes about his mother (who is still disappointed about him leaving law for standup), his father (Darryl. Darryl. Darryl – You’ll understand when you go), aunts, grandmothers, and pretty much anyone else in his life that creates a bit of friction. Schafer shares his ponderings about many awkward encounters he’s had with each of them, but is truly at peak when sharing the verbal exchanges in both directions that at times are as blunt and ‘yikes’ inducing as any of the most uncomfortable exchanges you’ve probably had with your own family. Such as your mum being right about something going wrong after you’ve just told her you’re an adult and you know what you’re doing. Or a person milking the fact that they’ve done something that’s been an enormous benefit to you (such as saving your life from testicular cancer, as in the case of his girlfriend), and the crazed plans you have to get even again just so you can get them to take the bins out on their turn. Schafer verbalizes all the insane conversations we’ve have internally about circumstances we’ve experienced, and that self-recognition is what is so powerfully funny to us.
The night we went the show was a sellout and people laughed to the point of tears. Schafer was great last year but has really nailed his style over the last 12 months. The title Getting Better is a backhanded compliment Schafer received from a member of the public referring to his comedy prowess – but it’s an understatement to say the least. If you had to pick one comedian to see at the Fringe this year, Michael Schafer is the one to see at the Squeaker. Get in fast as it’s an intimate venue and he will sell out the season!