Self-described "comic dissident" Ben Shore this week celebrated cracking his 1000th completely obvious and predictable joke.
"Why did John Howard cross the road?" Shore asked a packed house at Melbourne's Cack Rack comedy club. "Because George W. Bush told him to!"
For the remainder of his set, the young comedian kept his audience laughing by taking potshots at a range of easy targets, including the alleged immorality of the Iraq invasion, John Howard's eyebrows, George W. Bush's poor public speaking skills, and Amanda Vanstone's weight.
"I try not to let my insights rise above the banal," Shore told Sterne over a beer later that night. "I see myself as a musician, playing the audience's prejudices like a piano. Ultimately, I'm doing this to challenge the white, capitalist patriarchy, not to give my fans a hard time by making them think too much."
Audience member Jane Thrallsom said that what she enjoys about Shore is his ability to reduce complex issues to a series of black-and-white, us-and-them cliches.
"Ben has a refreshingly simple, undergraduate world-view. He makes me laugh without challenging any of my preconceived ideas. That's really what I'm after in a night out."
Ben Shore will make his television debut next Wednesday night on ABC's The Glass House.