IT'S the paradoxical strangeness of comedians.
They make us laugh, but often, they're pretty dark themselves.
With his onstage uniform of black suit and sunglasses, Austen Tayshus (aka Sandy Gutman) is one such comedian - he has complex ideas and an equally complex persona, and his new show is both sharp and funny.
"It's a show about being Australian - it's a fairly provocative show," he said.
"Basically I take the piss out of being Australian; I've been a satirist for 30 years, it's what I do."
Austen Tayshus took the Australian comedy scene by storm in 1983, with his show (and album) 'Australiana'.
Since then he's travelled the world, producing films, documentaries and recordings - and sharpening his edge.
According to the man himself, his comedy has always been about social consciousness and stupidity intermingling.
Austen Tayshus: The Merchant of Menace puts modern Australia under a microscope.
Austen calls it a cutting show, designed to shake us up - but in the end, it's still about humour.
"It's a good show, it's funny," he said.
Be shaken by Austen Tayshus: The Merchant of Menace at Club Coffs on West High, Saturday April 14.