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  • Alex First

Hard Quiz Live (Melbourne Town Hall) - 70 minutes (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

Gold Logie winner Tom Gleeson is highly entertaining and hilarious as he hosts the equivalent of an episode of his popular comedic ABC television show after a few minutes of stand up.


In his opening, he pokes fun at 7.30 host Leigh Sales (his lead in to Hard Quiz on TV) and Eddie McGuire.


He singles out bald, middle-aged men who look like him and references reality TV.


Gleeson talks about his experience winning Australia’s brainiest radio star hosted by Sandra Sully just two days after he was sacked from Triple M.


Next, he spends a few minutes dishing dirt onto Anh’s Brush with Fame – all done with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, of course.


The guy is just so seemingly effortlessly funny and can readily draw howls of laughter from the audience.

His patter is easy to listen to and he doesn’t play it safe. His invective is part of his appeal.


When it comes to playing the quiz in front of the assembled, he picks out four contestants – all volunteers – making sure they are “diverse”.


None are shy and they seem happy to put themselves on the line.


The subjects they address are The Beatles, Princess Diana, Australian Prime Ministers and Seinfeld.


Among those chosen the night I attended were a secondary school teacher, a politics student, a public servant working for the ATO and a civil engineering graduate.


Of course, before beginning the questioning, Gleeson proceeded to tear down each of them. He is so quick witted and all played along beautifully.


As the rounds of Hard Quiz rolled out, Gleeson continued to intersperse more humour.


Channel 10 and The Project copped a whack.


Visual imagery and video grabs, including those from Hard Quiz, played a hand in proceedings.

Gleeson managed to work some of his best TV players into the questions and we guffawed again.


In short, I had a wonderful time listening to Gleeson’s acerbic put downs … and I laughed a lot.


He is a rare talent, who combines inflammatory material with highly expressive facial movement.


And the show finishes with Gleeson singing beside two more iterations of himself on the video screen, guitar in hand.


It must be asked, can anything top one Tom Gleeson? Clearly, Gleeson in triplicate!


Hard Quiz Live is on at Melbourne Town Hall until 9th April, 2022.