Josh Davies is a name most in New Zealand may not know, even if they are a fan of comedy. Unlike his fellow Billy T Award nominees this year, Davies has not had the same number of regular TV appearances or online viral fame to make him stand out among an increasingly crowded field.
Yet with his new Comedy Festival show, he quickly proves why he might just be one of the sharpest minds in comedy.
Davies' new show is Look! I'm Blind, an exploration of his experiences living with low vision (he is fully blind in his left eye and has 20 per cent vision in the other as the result of a rare genetic disease).
Some may look at that title and expect some heart-wrenching discussion or TED-talk level lecture about disability. Instead, Davies goes right for the jugular, delivering all the blind jokes, puns and gags that he can get away with.
His topics move between making fun of his younger sister for having full vision through to urging the Blind Foundation to cull some labradors so he can get a pay rise. Davies does not approach the topics softly, delivering jokes that might you roar with laughter and quickly feel guilty for laughing.
Davies is clearly an excellent joke writer, and relishes in giving the audience the opportunity to laugh about topics that few others could make this funny. A lot were slow burners that took a while to make their way through the crowd, but he seemed to relish the delayed reaction his dark humour had.
Yet the show faltered a bit every time it diverged from the central theme. Other stories about living in Levin or the high cost of dentistry were funny but felt out of place among the rest of the material, and the less biting humour earned a more muted reaction from the crowd.
Davies is also a more low-energy performer than many of his contemporaries, and while the monotone delivery helped sneak some of the more cutting jokes through, it also meant the weaker ones were flat on arrival.
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Davies clearly has a sharp mind though - his quick dismissal of two hecklers proved that - and his comedic talents never faltered. Even when he got to the most impassioned part of the show, where he talked about an upcoming disability law, he showed that he can find the funny in most situations.
You may not be familiar with his work walking in, but Davies proves with Look I'm Blind that he might just be one of the funniest people, but perhaps not performers, in the country.
What: Look! I'm Blind, Josh Davies
Where: Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen until May 22