In the current world of bugger-all theatre, a lack of humour and no nights out, Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun is exactly the kind of light-hearted nonsensical shithousery we’ve all been missing.
Forming in 2011, Aunty Donna are primarily an absurdist sketch comedy group straight out of Melbourne Australia and have amassed notoriety with the multitude of award winning live tours. On the surface of the group are writers and performers Broden Kelly, Mark Samuel Bonanno and Zach Ruane, but the group consists of 3 more members behind the scenes: Max Miller, Sam Lingham and Tom Armstrong.
This is Aunty Donna’s first outing on Netflix, but with 9 years of activity under their belt, they are more than prepared. Usually with the transfer from theatre/live shows to something on screen, in my experience, they do not translate too well or they miss the mark. However, Aunty Donna have experience in this field too, accumulating over 60,000,000 views on their YouTube channel of the same name.
In the first episode, the Aunty Donna boy’s start with one of their most notable comedy songs “Everything’s a Drum”, a nice addition devoted fans will enjoy and a perfect introductory note for new viewers, like myself. You truly understand the tone from the get go, with the silly penis jokes to the intentionally over the top performance for the dramatic moments. I must say Broden is a stand out for the first episode, especially with his Cowboy character, which lands the biggest laugh at the end of the episode.
I’d like to also point out the several guest stars who felt like true additions to the format and not just a famous face to get views, from Kristen Schaal as the iconic voice of the dirty dishwasher to Karan Soni as life like Jerry Seinfeld. Executive producer Ed Helms also joins the cast for an episode as himself Egg Helms or Ed helms, depending on who you ask in the show, and fits right in with some stellar jokes without taking away the limelight from the boys.
Now, this style of absurdist, in your face, loud and obnoxious comedy is not for everyone, and I wouldn’t be shouting and screaming at you to watch it if things in this realm aren’t your go to types of shows.
If you’re open minded, or you’re looking for something different, or you know this out-there comedy is your vibe, then please, for the love of everything, show this show the love it deserves. As we know with Netflix, they do give a lot of different ideas a chance, but views are views and if there are a lack of them, diamonds in the rough like this won’t get the chance to continue to flourish and continue in more seasons.
Digestible, laugh-out-loud funny and so so so silly, Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ Fun House provides the optimistic and hilarious pastime we all have time for right now. And, oh, what a cliffhanger.