Act 10 – Ian Evans

Ladies and gentlemen, what you are about to witness is arguably the world’s slowest ever one man band.    Vocals, horns, percussion … Ian Evans had it all.  He even had an absolute pearler of a gold lamê shirt.  Not lame … lamê.

One can be forgiven for suspecting that the shirt gave Ian super powers.  The super powers being the uncanny ability to channel Louis Armstrong from beyond the grave.

Indeed, the act was so powerful, it also managed to channel some laughter from Ernie – look closely at the top right hand corner around 1:43 and you’ll see the faint outline of Ernie rocking back and forth trying not to piss himself.    I know exactly how he feels.

If I’m brutally honest, this is one act that is solid gold in a sea of solid brown.   Arguably my favourite Pot Luck act ever.

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Act 9 – David Thai

A few years ago, a young Chinese-American gentleman named William Hung made an impression on the world thanks to a remarkable performance on American Idol.   He took a mediocre pop song and turned it into something special.

Thanks to the power of the internet, his rendition of that Ricky Martin classic ‘She Bangs’ propelled William into stardom beyond his wildest dreams. What most people don’t realise is that this had already been done before.

Many years earlier, Australian daytime television viewers were treated to the pioneering work of David Thai.   An Asian would-be singer with a yen for fame and fortune, Dave pumped out an epic version of John Farnham’s ‘Pressure Down’.

Unlike Whispering Jack who has tried many times to retire (with varying degrees of success), Whispering Dave quickly faded into obscurity, never to be heard from again.  One suspects the outcome may have been different had the internet been ubiquitous in the 1980s.  Either that, or maybe David should have sung ‘Touch Of Paradise’ instead.

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Act 8 – Gwen Warren “The Spoon Lady”

When I first saw this, I thought it was an old sketch from Fast Forward: from some angles, Gwen has an alarming resemblance to Jane Turner dressed as Matron Sloan from A Country Practice.

As you can see, the act of spoon playing is a very physical act requiring ongoing stamina, something that seemed to be pushed to its absolute limit at around 1:36 or so.   I suspect the ostensibly random key change at 1:15 couldn’t have helped – I’m also guessing that this wasn’t part of the act, rather it was the house band having a bit of a laugh at the expense of an overambitious septuagenarian.

Still, despite these challenges, Gwen didn’t drop a single note.  Or spoon for that matter.

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Act 7a – “Ablisa”

OK, so I’m cheating here.  This isn’t a Pot Luck act, however it embodies the spirit of Pot Luck and combines it with Gen Y hubris. Two girls, one attitude.

Imagine two real life Vicky Pollards that believe they can sing.  Then imagine what a typical girl band might sound like before being auto-tuned within an inch of their lives.  Throw a nonplussed Simon Cowell into the mix and watch the hilarity unfold before your very eyes.  Top this off with a catch name straight from the Wenkyshafee School Of Band Names and you’ve got 5 minutes of pure comedy gold.

Apologies if you’ve seen this in the last few days, but it’s just sofa king funny I just had to share it with you all.  Enjoy!

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Act 7 – “James Bond Theme” by Domenico Apruzzese

Yet another one that didn’t make it to The Late Show, but made it to YouTube thanks to our old friend Todd Rixon.    Synthesisers were the MUST HAVE instrument of the 1980s.  Pretty much every musical act in this era had at least one keyboard player.  Possibly 2 or 3.  Or, maybe just one driving several synths at once.  Unfortunately, for every one Moog Maestro there were at least several thousand Hammond Horrors.

Mr. Apruzzese, cutting a suave figure in his bow tie and shiny jacket, gave us a rendition of the classic James Bond Theme that was aiming to be more ‘Doctor, Doctor’ than ‘Doctor No’.  As it transpired, it was more ‘Doctor …. Nooooooo!!!’.

Bernard was less than impressed with Domenico’s organ, but was more than impressed with Domenico.  Indeed, Bernard seemed quite keen for Domenico to consider playing a different organ.

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Act 6 – Antoine Arabi

Live comedy is something that is incredibly difficult to succeed at.  Many of the world’s top comedians have spent night after night over many years performing in front of the most inebriated of punters in the seediest of comedy clubs.  This is how they get so good; doing the hard graft helps them hone their art and build some character, if not new material.

Of course, if this sounds too much like hard work, they could just listen to an old Bill Cosby LP and plagiarise the entire set.  Word for word.

Antoine Arabi memorised this classic Bill Cosby routine so well that at one stage, it appeared as though he was channelling Bill himself.   The joke was about death, the delicious irony being the self-inflicted death by a thousand cuts that Antoine was clearly oblivious to.  Note the audience cutaway at 1:22.

Regrettably, Bernard’s judgement has been omitted from this video.  However, I suspect that Bernard may have suggested that Antoine should consider reinventing himself as his own comedian rather than as a pale imitation of someone else.  I suspect that Antoine went away, wrote some his own (admittedly pitiful) material, shaved his head and changed his stage name to Akmal.  The rest, as they say, is history.

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Act 5 – James Cook

“Oh what a terrible singer, oh what a terrible song, had he performed on Red Faces, Red would have bashed down the gong!”

OK, so bad singing wasn’t anything unusual for Pot Luck, right?  What was unusual about James Cook’s performance is the extreme clemency offered by Bernard.   He refused to pass judgment due to ‘some notes being attractive’ and James being ‘a good looking subject with a pleasant, willing face’. Bernard suggested that James should come back when he felt more confident.

Ricky May was less charitable, however – in Ricky’s defence – he appeared to be gobsmacked by both the performance and Bernard’s decision to withhold a score.  Whilst Ricky and Bernard were doing their best to be nice, Ernie finally said what everyone else was thinking.

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