Taco Knight: A Musical Comedy that Knows it’s Audience

With an audience of only seven people, you’d think young comedian Taco might be crumbling a little. Think again. I’m watching a self-assured, charismatic young woman use her life experiences as witty comedic material.

After an interesting half-undressing start to the show (‘my friends said I had to do some undressing’), Taco and her double bass (named Terry) launch into a stream of musical comedy. Over the course of an hour, Taco sings about her seven fuccboi ex-boyfriends, a friend’s boyfriend that she hates, a disgusting boss, and the misconceptions of her nickname ‘Taco.’ As my friend and I sit there, we hear our experiences in the songs and many of the jokes. Taco is self-assured enough to be self-deprecating, and lets us be a part of her experiences. 

Though the songs aren’t musically complicated, Taco’s comedic timing and intonation give them a unique flavour that is captivating. As she strums the double bass and half-sings-half-speaks, I wonder why I haven’t seen much musical comedy before. Though some lines and rhymes are cliche or cringey, Taco acknowledges this, which makes it even funnier. An honourable mention should be given to the rap battle scene, which although a little amateur, pulls off audience participation with great fun and spontaneity.  

What strikes me most about Taco is her complete ease and comfort on the stage by herself. Especially with such a small audience in the basement of the Butterfly Club. There is no nervous energy as is frequent at small comedy shows, and it’s clear she’s been to this rodeo before. Taco is natural and completely herself, and as such the audience relaxes and goes with her on the ride. When Taco delivers the poignant and more serious song ‘When I Grow Up’ to finish the show, we are completely with her.

Taco Knight is not a squeaky clean, polished performance. It is a little messy, with pauses between jokes as she gets a feel for her audience. It is a little unorganised, with similar jokes made in quick succession. But, it encapsulates a young woman’s life with ease and witty, smart humour. It’s the kind of comedy you hope to find at the Comedy Festival. A strong concept, a willingness to use your life as material, and an ability to work with the audience you have. I wished (as always) that there was a bigger audience, because Taco is a really promising comedian.

I will definitely watch out for Taco in the future. It looks like she and her double bass aren’t going anywhere soon.

Lotte Beckett

A Knight’s Taco by Taco Knight ran at The Butterfly Club in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 1 April — 7 April 2019.

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