In Adelaide for one night only, Sammy J’s Hero Complex is centred around the hilarious tale of some comic books and a bromance gone wrong. Usually seen with his comedic puppet side-kick Randy, who has his own hectic Fringe schedule, it was refreshing to see Sammy J on his own.
Without the jaded, acerbic wit of Randy to hide Sammy J’s own comedic light under a bushel, Sammy J shone. Time to sit up and take notice of that razor-sharp intelligence some more, ladies and gentlemen, because Sammy J is likeable, disarmingly-charming yet nerdy. He’s the type of guy you wouldn’t mind taking home to your Mum for a Sunday roast, but you’d always be on edge just a little, hoping he wouldn’t divulge too much of his penchant for comic books, politics, the ABC or inability to hold his grog.
Hero Complex was a memoir of sorts which intertwined stories of Sammy’s life from teenage years to recent fatherhood, with some side-splitting recounting of coincidences and signs from “the ghost who walks”. A master of comedic timing and a wonderful story teller, Sammy J had his packed house eating out of his mirthful hands for almost 80 minutes. Jumping between jaunts at the keyboard to “show and tell” on the projector with hilarious anecdotes in between, Sammy J artfully weaved his nerdy worship of all things Phantom and his school gardener to an uproariously funny climax. Hats off to Sammy J – without a puppet sidekick or talking playground politics, you’re even more entertaining just as you are.
Fringe Review by Kim Burley