Review: Space Couch
Tim Batt and Disasteradio’s Space Couch is a synthwave Communist talkshow, and I don’t think those words have ever been uttered together in a sentence before. Things go like this. The titular pink Space Couch – sent into space by the Soviets in the mid-70s – has fallen back to earth and decided to host a talk show, complete with Kiwi comics, some bomb music, and political guests.
Tim takes the mic as the host, introducing segments and conducting interviews, as well as doing a bit of stand-up besides, and Disasteradio (Luke Rowell) strings the whole piece together with some quality vaporwave (??) music. The Space Couch interjects with some thoroughly Soviet propaganda every so often.
It’s a good time.
Space Couch is a talk show without the hyperactivity of common long-form content, and that’s a good thing. Though things got a little hairy last night during Tim’s chat with Paula Bennett about the marijuana referendum, and the audience got a little vocal, but there’s no madcap jumping on chairs or awkward long-form bits (re: Jimmy Fallon, James Corden and the like) and the whole thing just feels very genuine.
Disasteradio’s music and general banter really contributes to the chill vibe of the show, and he and Tim have a great rapport on a whole. It’s a treat to hear a lot of original sound on stage, and I really appreciated it.
Last night’s guests were Eli Mathewson (the Kiwi comedian, currently performing his show Myth and Legend in Wellington as well), and divisive National Party politician Paula Bennett. Eli riffed mostly on Spiderman and then sat down on the couch to take Tim and Disasteradio through a game (roughly titled) This News Will Shock You, where the hosts had to guess the ending of a news story, with the owner of the worst guess being shocked by an electric dog collar.
Paula Bennett then came on and the show got a little more tense – wherein she and Tim mostly talked (if that’s the word for it) about the upcoming marijuana reform. Though the pair had never met before in real life, the interview was surprisingly unawkward, so major props to Tim for belaying a potentially-terrifying segment right along.
The show ended with a few ‘ads’ – one of the best being a promo video for Johnsonville (“It’s a suburb that exists in Wellington”), and the issuing of an A4 of the Commie News – a play on the Coffee News leaflet – which clearly took quite some time to make up. The Space Couch also seemed to renounce communism for a bit and signed on for a lead role in a Hollywood talk show.
Space Couch is a bizarre trek into the unknown, a little chaotic, but a hell of a good time.
Space Couch is on at San Fran from now until Saturday. Get your tickets from the Comedy Festival website.