Dan Harmon Delivers “Guided Chaos” In Brisbane

21 December 2016 | 2:14 pm | Max Higgins

"A rollercoaster train of thought."

If there were only two words you could use to describe any Harmontown podcast, they’d be “guided chaos”. Anyone that’s listened to a podcast from popular culture overlord Dan Harmon and his team of comedy compatriots will know that at any point, tangential ideas can spiral off and perhaps never return to where they began, but you’ll be rip-roariously laughing the whole time.

Those that are unfamiliar with the podcast would likely be aware of Harmon from one of his many hugely popular television series. He created Community and co-created Rick And Morty, as well as a number of lesser-known outings like Great Minds with Dan Harmon.

The Harmontown podcast is very loosely based around the structure of a town meeting, with Harmon acting as mayor of this fictional community. He is joined on stage by Jeff Davis and Spencer Crittenden who help Harmon propel the evening forward whenever he is inevitably caught in a meta-humour moment, or a rant on existentialism.

Fans of Harmon’s work will know how random and wild his humour can be, and tonight is no exception. From the get go, the crowd is graced with Harmon’s first impressions of Australia, his questioning of our social and political systems and his attempts at an Australian accent. It should be noted that these attempts are, for the large part, pretty damn good. He especially mastered the phrase “I like that hat, mate”.

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While Harmon probes and professes, Davis is left trying to steer the conversation and control a charmingly rowdy crowd, who takes every opportunity to add their two cent’s worth. Throughout the whole evening, the crowd corrects and questions Harmon’s musings, and audience members are often called on stage to contribute to small improv games or give detailed explanations on topics ranging from koalas with chlamydia to robotic phalluses killing starfish.

Between crowd interactions, Harmon goes on tangents wherein he freestyle raps (almost exclusively about trying to engage in sexual activity with an unnamed mother), writes balladic musicals with Pauline Hanson featuring as the misunderstood main character, and meandering offstage to go explore the crowd with the spotlight following him everywhere he goes. Not every member of the audience is as onboard with the concepts being bandied about, as there is a number whose hollers turn to heckles, but this only fuels Harmon’s need to defiantly control the flow of laughter.

To try to encapsulate the whole experience with mere sentences and words would be doing it a disservice, as there is no way to capture the rapid-fire stylings of the members on stage. While the night is void of the many special guests that Harmon often brings with him when the show is toured across the United States, there is no disappointment, as the fans are there for one thing: the opportunity to see Harmon up close and hear a rollercoaster train of thought spill out.