We had an inkling something was afoot when we saw Chris Lilley, the star of the ABC’s divisive comedy show Angry Boys, at a Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All gig at the venue last month and now it appears to have borne fruit – the TV character S.Mouse is set to make his live debut. The smart arse alter-ago of Lilley is to perform this Sunday night at Melbourne’s Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda with details of the gig to be revealed on tonight’s episode of Angry Boys.
S.Mouse’s character has recently been accused of racism for the way in which it portrays African American hip hop culture, but even worse, it has been accused of simply not being funny. According to Ozi Batla, MC of Aussie hip hop outfit The Herd, “The first problem is, I don’t think S.mouse is a believable or particularly funny character. The second problem is blackface. It’s really completely unnecessary and yes, offensive. The character would have been much funnier if it had been a white Australian rapper, I reckon.
Some people might say there’s a double standard with Lilley having played Polynesian and Asian characters before. However, Ricky Wong and Jonah were meticulously characterised, from the accents to the mannerisms. They felt like real people, whereas S.mouse does not. I think it was unnecessary and showed up Lilley’s lack of sensitivity for the issue of blackface in the United States. And his lack of knowledge about southern rap and the modern hip-hop scene. It would have been more interesting to examine the Australian scene, and probably would have felt more genuine.” Criticisms aside, this gig will no doubt be one of the hottest tickets in town.