The premise of Luke Joseph Ryan’s stand-up show, Reintroducing 2012 Cleo Bachelor of the Year Nominee, is ostensibly rooted in the reality of Ryan’s own life.

He was apparently a Cleo Bachelor Nominee in 2012—he placed fiftieth in the sadly defunct publication’s annual Bachelor of the Year contest. I have not, in my extensive internet research, been able to find any photographic evidence of Ryan’s involvement in the competition. So, unfortunately, there will be no pictures of him sitting on a horse, or shooting a wry grin over his shoulder as he holds a surfboard, to pepper this review.

Ryan, by his own admission, does not present himself now as the kind of person you might expect to have been a contestant in a Cleo Bachelor competition. He performs dressed in a grey suit, round glasses and a traffic-light-red turtleneck. In this costume he comes across less as a one-time hearthrob, and more as a kind of mad science communicator. He plays this part quite believably in the section of the show where he contemplates the awkward interactions between planets temporarily sharing the same orbit.

A later space-themed sex joke involving an exercise ball falls a little flat, but it has the potential to be hysterically funny and probably is when delivered to an audience possessing a higher level of energy than ours, which was a fatigued Sunday night crowd. More conventional observational comedy fare is mostly redeemed by Ryan’s sure-handed delivery style.

The other material which Ryan tackles relates to deeper issues in Australia and the world right now; cheery topics such as racism, terrorism and impending ecological crises.

Ryan has the capacity, not to make light of serious topics such as these, but to craft insightful comedy which makes you think (and laugh, to the point of soiling yourself).


Reintroducing 2012 Cleo Bachelor of the Year Nominee will be running at The
Nook at The Producers until March 2. You can purchase tickets here.