Is Townsville the sickest city in Oz?

Frenchy's Unleashed tour landed at the Kirwan Tavern last Friday night. IMAGE: Supplied

Warning: There is no way to comment on Frenchy’s 18+ Unleashed show without the review being 18+ too. A pattering of foul language lies ahead.

Honestly, I didn’t know what I expected. The majority of stops on this tour were all-ages, so I was expecting a similar show but with a few more dick and drug jokes thrown in; but I have no idea how Frenchy’s set on Friday night could possibly be watered down to appease younger audiences. From picking a fight with a wanker heckler from Melbourne in the first 30 seconds, to singing about getting f*cked by cows, there were no limits. And the locals loved it.

The Kirwan Tavern event marked Frenchy’s first foray in Townsville, and it was clear that our city knew how to appreciate good, dirty, bogan humour: everyone laughed at the quips that would furrow the brows of hoity-toity city-slickers, and egged the ‘Gong comedian on as he rounded out the show by polishing off a shoey of VB.

This bogan appreciation is something Frenchy himself commented on: he knew that his humour wasn’t for everyone, and he liked it that way. There were jokes in his show that even he seemed surprised the crowd laughed at – there is a line between laughing and gasping he crosses at each show, and apparently Townsville takes its humour a lot dirtier than other locations around the country. From rim jobs after Indian food to questioning whether being a mum is a ‘real job,’ the laughs kept coming (with the only point of uncertainty being a line about Ivan Milat – apparently the darkest of Aussie humour).

Honestly, I would be happy to watch the exact same show again – and would probably laugh just as much the second time round. You’re warmed up with one-liners and then the narrative of the show kicks in, with a couple of breaks for original songs and audience insults to be thrown in.

Frenchy does what comedians do best: he takes in everything (including cows). In my interview with him last week, I made a throw-away line about Kelso being the suburb that’s picked on by visiting acts – and he slipped mention of the suburb into the show so smoothly, it took a moment to register with the crowd, all still reacting to his last line. It was the same with his hecklers: there were continuous references to the hipster Melbourne asshole that kept interrupting him, as well as the professional mum who left her kid at home for the night.

The only true let-down was the venue: it was great sitting back with a beer to watch the show, but this also meant people stayed in the pub mentality – the chatter from the bar drowned out bits of Frenchy’s performance, and the heckling from the crowd sometimes stopped the pace of the show completely. People paid to see the man on stage, not half-sloshed locals with half-thought retorts. The to-and-fro with Melbourne man was great to kick things off, but by the end of the night, the people in the row behind me were ready to throw a chair at his head.

Whether you’ve seen all or none of Frenchy’s viral videos, his Unleashed show packs a punch. You won’t know whether to laugh, cry, vomit, or call child services, but will definitely walk away entertained.

Frenchy’s Unleashed tour continues this weekend in Bendigo, with a list of remaining tour locations available here. If you missed seeing Frenchy in person, follow his videos here

Huxley Press was a guest of Frontier Comedy.

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