Is Rolf Harris Funny?

Posted in Features on August, 02 2004 7:26 PM

Rolf HarrisBear with me for a moment. I am fully aware that Rolf Harris is not a stand up comedian, but having seen him do an hour set at Guilfest 2004 this past weekend and be funnier and more entertaining than most of the comedians, I think he deserves some praise.

Rolf Harris was officially booked as a musical act, following recent sucesses at Glastonbury and other festivals. However, the sheer charm and experience that he has meant he worked the crowd to a pitch of excitement and enjoyment.

Opening with "Sun Arise", a hugely powerful song, he quickly got talking with the crowd. His huge smile and genuine enjoyment of what he was doing was expressed through laughter at a "Rolf for PM" sign, the tale of being surprised by a trout leaping out of the water which lead into another song, and a continual attempt to translate songs into German as he went along, all for the benefit of two German women at the front. He had the good manners to thank them at the end of the show for being the targets of most of his jokes.

The songs themselves were worthy of any musical act. Most of them you already know - Tie Me Kangaroo Down, The Court of King Caractacus, Two Little Boys, Waltzing Matilda and Stairway To Heaven - but the delivery and the playfulness of the way he sang them, and involved the band made them wonderful entertainment.

Rolf Harris is well aware of his status, but he's not afraid to poke holes in it himself. At the end of one song, he casually remarked that he realised he left about half of it out, but then laughed it off and continued on with the set. Professional, engaging and just plain entertaining, Rolf Harris was a stand out comedy performance despite offically not being a comedy act at all.



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