Like a lot of Australian families at the time, when Rove McManus’ show Rove Live aired on Channel 10, we watched it religiously. All of us would sit around the TV and watch the skits, interviews, and What The? segments, and it’d be something talked about at school the next day. As I got a bit older, I lost interest, and preferred just reading a book instead, but my parents were always big fans. I know he won a Golden Logie, but I’m not really sure what happened to the show (it seems that it went on hiatus after McManus’ wife Belinda Emmett passed away). I saw that he had a show at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Rove McManus: That’s Me Talking, so I suggested that we take my parents out to see it.
When I mentioned going to see the show, I a lot of people asked if he was still funny. Not having kept up with him, it started to make me feel a bit doubtful going into the show.
I felt he started off a bit slowly – a few penis jokes, a bit of a lacklustre attempt at audience interaction. But once he started getting into his material, I felt he really got into the groove of things. His show was a mix of comedy and heartwarming stories, with a few more penis jokes thrown in for good measure. It wasn’t really what I expected, but I found myself enjoying it greatly by the end. It was 60 minutes long, but it really didn’t feel like it.
It’s strange that I’ve been talking to a lot of people about being a good parent, and that was the overall theme of his show. It seems that he’s now a father of a young child, and he talked about how that changed his life, but also about the various people who have affected his life. One story that stood out in particular was about his mother. He said that when he was young, the family was on a road trip, and they had taken a pit stop for him to pee. He found a broken teddy bear on side of the road, and wanted to take it him, but his mother said it was battered and dirty.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, she had picked up the bear, put it in a plastic bag, and over the next few months, repaired it to something resembling a teddy bear. He thought that was one of the nicest things someone had ever done for him, and he still has the bear. I thought it was a really cute story, and there were some other funny things related to the bear, but that’s the part I remember the best.
I can say that Rove is still funny, and probably every bit of the man child as he was back when we watched his TV show, but that’s part of his charm, I think.