Review: King of Humility

5 years ago
Stacey Waters

There’s a wide range of genre that can be seen at this years’ Melbourne International Comedy Festival. You can see improv, sketch-shows, musical comedy or stand-up with a theme. If you’re in the mood for some straight up, no strings attached stand-up though, James Masters in King of Humility is probably the show you want to see.

King of Humility is 60 minutes of guaranteed laughter as Masters runs through topics as broad as VicRoads to Tinder. With no direct, clear indication from the title of the show, it’s nice to walk into a venue not knowing what to expect.

Evan Desmarais opens the night, jumping straight in with an almost lecture at the audience about equality. He manages to weave a surprising amount of humour into the opening 10 minutes, touching on topics that have most women in the audience nodding along in agreement with a grimace. This opening 10 minutes is perfect for the style of Masters’ show, it introduces the audience to the style of humour we’ll be seeing for the night.


Masters’ delivery seems to be more conversational – laughing along with the audience at a punch line and appearing to be thinking for a moment before launching into another topic. As he states best his material is more just “a list of complaints.” The real talent Masters possesses however lines in being able to draw continuous laughs from the crowd without the need for embellishments. He doesn’t rely on props, funny voices or just vague shouting that some do. Instead each joke earns a laugh because it is genuinely funny – or relatable.

King of Humility is a show to see for classic stand-up. Masters’ has obvious experience with his material and delivery; his close-to rambling style has a smoothness to it that enables him to switch through ideas at ease. You won’t leave having learned anything overly memorable but you will leave having had a great time.


King of Humility is showing at Fort Delta from 23rd March – 16th April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets can be purchased here.

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