Priceless! Cringe-worthy to belly laughing brilliance in just moments, TOD Talks is a playful take on TED Talks.
A psychedelic version of TED Talks gone awry. It uses the signature TED format – the stage with the big screen, the red rug, the giant letters, the sound effects – but with a twist.
Like an alternate reality, everything is the same – but different. Think Black Mirror – but as a comedy improv show.
In TOD Talks, the presenters are not experts in their topic and have no idea what they are going to talk about, as it’s generated by the audience. The presenters are six well-known local or international comedians and improv artists.
It’s a competition where they compete for the title Keynote Presenter. They are given a ridiculous topic and cobble it together on the spot. Funny man Owen Merriman is the host, and the constant play off between Merriman, and Michael Gatt, as tech support in charge of the slides and sound effects, was a delight.
Each TOD Talks presenter has five minutes each and must use the slides, statistics, acronyms and cues randomly presented to them on stage in front of the audience.
This is both hilarious and excruciating to watch, as they struggle to try to link the cue presented with the topic assigned and keep on track at the same time as the supposed subject matter expert.
You have no idea where it is going – nor do any of the presenters!
Some of the topics generated included existential nihilism, peeling oranges, helping your neighbour j**k off, smuggling budgies over the border, matching with Keanu Reeves on Tinder and “How I used being ginger to climb the corporate ladder”!
Merriman and Gatt first cracked the TED Talks code and spawned this fast-paced and smart comedy show in 2018, since then TOD Talks has honed into its third incarnation.
A packed house enthusiastically supported their creation and it was a great vibe of positive energy. Fantastic Fringe entertainment as the power was in the hands of the audience. Clever – and terribly cheeky!