Australians love a backyard bash and a good joke, and audiences get plenty of both in That’s Not My Dog!.
Conceived as a celebration of the art of joke telling and its importance in Aussie culture, this comedy from Shane Jacobson and director Dean Murphy boasts a simple and ingenious premise, but in no way is it a one-joke concept.
There’s 86 of them, in fact, delivered by some of Australia’s finest comedians whom Shane has invited around for an evening at his dad Ron’s place in Clarkefield (where?), with the directive not to bring beer, a salad or a box of Cadbury Favourites, but rather arrive armed with the funniest jokes they’ve ever heard.
Any concerns that a film predicated solely on telling jokes can be sustained for 88-minutes are quickly laid to rest once the guests warm up, the beer flows, and the gags begin flying thick and fast. Some miss, some you may have heard before, but the majority hit the funny bone.
Moreover, structuring the film as an intimate and relaxed outdoor shindig – with musical interludes from the likes of the Black Sorrows, Dan Kelly and Russell Morris – creates the overall effect of mingling at a party in the company of a fantastic line-up of local comedy talent including Jacobson, Jimeoin, Paul Hogan, Fiona O’Laughlin, Marty Fields, Paul Fenech, Michala Banas, and many more.
Essentially a greatest hits package of “the best jokes ever told”, That’s Not My Dog! is also an appreciation of the skill with which a great joke is told; sometimes it’s all about the delivery, not the punchline. And perhaps the biggest joke of all is the absence of the one that gives the film its punchline-title, although fans of Peter Sellers will know it well.
From classics, cringeworthy puns and monologues, to double entendres, one-liners, and of course the dirty variety, That’s Not My Dog! runs the gamut of jokes. You may not remember all of them, but you’re guaranteed to laugh at some of them.
In cinemas: March 15-18, 2018
Starring: Shane Jacobson, Marty Fields, Michael Shannon
Directed by: Dean Murphy