REVIEW: Ismo Liekola: Observing the Obvious… Still (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by Lauren Sanderson

Ismo Leikola

[Comedy Genius]

After selling out a season at The Classic Comedy Club last year, Ismo Leikola hasn’t FINN-ished with New Zealand just yet as he returns bigger and better than before, sharing with us his curiosities of the world. The inquisitive Finn not only won the hearts of his audience, but also the title ‘Funniest Man in the World’ in 2014 and he certainly lived up to it!

He’s been delighting audience’s worldwide for many years with his quirky observations and it seems that we just can’t get enough of his bewildering act. His Finnish charm and awkward persona adds to the hilarity of his uniquely insightful act about the peculiarities of life.

Instead of finding the most bizarre things to entertain us, he highlights the most obvious things that have for so long been lurking in plain sight. He creates his material through picking up the weird quirks of humanity and it is pure genius!

His thought-provoking jokes about the intricacies of the English language are as endearing as they are hilarious. Being from Finland but currently living in America, most of his material is framed through outsider’s eyes. He talks about how the English language baffles him and gives us a side-splittingly informative lesson on the complexities of the word ‘ass’.

The key to Leikola’s success is he is incredibly likeable. From his childlike fist pumping to his endearing musing pauses as he weaves from one thought to the next, you can’t help but be drawn in to his imaginative child-like world where there are silent numbers and whales playing hide-and-seek.

Comedy comes naturally to Leikola. His calm confidence and subtle delivery make the quality of his material even more apparent. He treats us to stories of food consumption, romancing his wife, and outings with his vegan friend.

His rapid-fire observations, stylistic elocution and witty discussions about only eating the sad animals in the world had the audience howling, and was certainly to blame for the teary mascara mishaps of the night.

Ismo Leikola performs at Q until 9 May. Details see Comedy Festival

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