Being billed as the "greatest local comic you've never heard of" is quite the title.
Living it upto it though, is something Jarred Christmas does in spades.
Having first encountered his monumental stand up style in this year's Comedy Gala, I had high expectations for Jarred - and from the moment he dirty-danced out to the Backstreet Boys to the final moments which saw the audience trying for the high notes courtesy of a tricky to master song, Christmas certainly didn't disappoint.
(Please note this review is avoiding all puns on the yuletide festivities and Jarred's surname - which, when you see his show you'll understand. Because he's clearly suffered all manner of ribbing through his life given the family names dished out to his clan.)
Loosely speaking, Christmas' show covered his formative years at Shirley Boys High School in Christchurch, experiences in London and early stand up to a phenomenally funny story about being dissed by a Michael Jackson fan in Leicester Square after a notorious moment on a Big Brother companion show in the UK (seek it out on youtube - it's gold).
Wearing a trademark cowboy shirt, horn rimmed glasses and plenty of energy, Christmas certainly is one of the Festival's revelations. With solid funny material and an ability to work a crowd, it's clear Jarred is one of our best.
Non sequitur observations (filed under the Miscellaneous section of his show) amused - and Jarred's not afraid to unleash the spontaneity, which gave the show even more edge and crackle.
There's a slightly surreal edge - and a few tangents - to his show but not once did Christmas milk it for effect as he unleashed some killer one liners onto an audience who were 100% behind him.
But what's more, Jarred Christmas appears to be having fun; he's embracing being back in NZ and lavishing audiences with highly amusing stories which leave you with no choice but to indulge in belly laughter. I really was sorry that after 60 minutes our time was up. Really, I can't encourage you enough to go and see him - because you'll leave the show grinning from ear to ear.
Just one thing Jarred - don't leave it 10 years to come back again - please?
Jarred Christmas in Captain Curious is at Auckland's
Limelight Laugh Lounge until May 8th.