Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table

Happiness is a bedside table
Hannah Gadsby

The now widely known television personality Hannah Gadsby has had a good year. She now classifies herself, at thirty five to be, an adult. She has just handed in six years of back tax returns. She has just received her driver’s licence. She has her own place. She is “captain of the fridge.” It’s been a year of personal revolution! However, as she points out, happiness is a tough topic for comedians. Their home page material is misfortune and mishap.

Pithily she observes “the key to happiness is low expectations.”

Displaying her trademark eccentricity she describes her love of purchasing “home things… chairs, I bought two, just in case.” The enormous widescreen television, “because I discovered that if you’re on tv it’s a deduction!” The bedside table, at last an accident–free zone on which to place her trademark glasses.

What could be poignant, if not maudlin, becomes hilarious in her clever hands. Gadsby’s deadpan delivery has no equal in the current national comedy scene. Her timing is immaculate.

Becoming an adult is dependent on regaining the confidence lost through the adolescent and early adult years. Numerous humiliating incidents are related. The school end-of-year lunch and swim; “the teachers’ annual culling.” The lousy jobs. The indifferent, cruel girlfriend.

The nude swimming episode where she is carried away by a rip. This last being “the lowest point in my life”, encompassing her worst fear of being rescued naked, “dead or alive!”

The self-abasing recounting of these disasters reduced the audience to hysterics.

In a brilliant tour de force Gadsby closed the show with a surprise ending demonstrating that her confidence is well and truly restored.

A well-deserved standing ovation ensued.

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