Comedy review: Mel & Sam: The Platonic Human Centipede, The Toff in Town, MICF 2024

Queer besties' new musical comedy is smart and ridiculous.

Truly, Melbourne-based comedians Mel & Sam are the Gen Z voice of musical comedy in Australia, rewriting the genre one harmonised, ridiculous, rapid-fire, smart-lyric stanza at a time. With a swathe of awards and nominations under their belt, they’re peddling their brand new cabaret show this Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with an up-late time of 9.45pm.

After seeing their show High Pony in the last Melbourne Fringe Festival, this new production follows a similar formula of songs that riff on queer, internet, pop culture and musical theatre themes, with comedic skits interspersed – like Santa Claus and his wife Carol Claus at therapy, trying to reconcile each other’s love languages (he’s a words-of-affirmation guy).

The highlight for me was their musical theatre medley based on their shared desire to ‘F**k the one straight musical theatre boy’ – the Hamilton section was pure genius. I also enjoyed their attempt to appeal to Boomers by taking on feedback to slow down their hundred-mile-a-minute pace (they really didn’t) and having their dads audio introduce each song. Lol.

Mel & Sam are the real deal, and it’s their duo-chemistry – born of best friendom/codependency, whatever that magic formula is – that is the inspiration for the show’s title and their opening number, where they sing about how they would like to, you know, go full human centipede on each other. But in ‘not in a “yum” way, in an “I love you” way’.  

For fans and newcomers to Mel & Sam, this new show will not disappoint. Anyone above about 35 though, be warned – you may need someone wired into the zeitgeist to interpret some of the references. I am certain I missed at least 20% of them.

Read: Comedy review: Rachel Rayner, Science Explainer: Atomically Correct, Double Tree by Hilton, MICF

I’d love to see what madness these two create when they move beyond the skit. Can someone cut them a cheque to write a full-scale musical, please? Thanks.

Tickets: $25-$25

Mel & Sam: The Platonic Human Centipede will be performing at The Toff in Town until 14 April 2024 as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF).

Kate Mulqueen is an actor, writer, musician and theatre-maker based in Naarm (Melbourne). Instagram: @picklingspirits Facebook: @katemulq Twitter: @katemulqueen