What’s the deal with Sydneysiders? We hear you Jerry, we hear you.
The World’s Funniest Island, a two day comedy event that was poised to takeover Sydney’s Cockatoo Island later this month, has been canceled due to lack of private and public support. Speaking with The SMH, Comedian Jackie Loeb blamed Sydney’s narcissistic priorities: “They’ll spend money on essentials like food and rent … or happily pay $100 or $200 to watch a football match, even if they’re going to get Tasered afterwards. But they won’t support comedy.” Note: In Sydney, police brutality is almost always preferable to laughing.
Wil Anderson blamed roads and Sydney’s transport system, the default scapegoat for any City of Sydney problem including crime, productivity loss, mental illness and the Rooster’s tragic Grand Final loss.
Anthony Ackroyd blamed Bondi: “It’s a very big beach culture,” as opposed to Melbourne where ”people are a bit more willing to go out and be indoors rather than [think] ‘Let’s go to the beach’.”
Event organizer Jorge Menidis blamed the venue: ”The reality is, it was always a tough gig … just because of the cost of setting up anything on the island. [Music festival] All Tomorrow’s Parties managed to make a loss out there with Nick Cave, let alone a comedy festival.” Hey guy who knew the logistical difficulties going into it, isn’t that like trying to organize a marathon in the desert then acting all matter-of-fact when everyone dies halfway though?
Comedian Oonagh Moodling blamed Sydney’s fractured comedy culture: ”In Melbourne during the festival the town is all abuzz. … In Sydney it feels a little bit fractured around where the venues are … there are distinct personalities [to each venue] and different types of audiences. So it just doesn’t lend itself to that big festival umbrella.”
Still, venue problems, fractured comedy cultures and the all encompassing beach aside, the event’s cancellation illustrates a wider, harder to admit truth in the Melbourne/Sydney cultural dichotomy…people from Melbourne possess a better/broader sense of humour than people from Sydney. How else could you possibly explain the existence of Corrine Grant’s comedy career?
The event’s lineup boasted over 200 comics, including the heavily-promoted first live show from Kath and Kim.