First up of the proper acts there was Jason John Whitehead who quipped to one heckler ”There’s observational comedy and then there’s observational”. Unfortunately that, to me, seemed to pretty much sum up his own act as well. He had the disadvantage of having been on the telly earlier, so I already knew some of his jokes. But he did have a funny voice, kinda like Jeremy Hotz.
The headliner for the night was Andre Vincent, who seemed to do most improvising of the lot. His stories were pretty standard fare too, and the gross quotient was high. He was nevertheless quite engaging and definitely worth the fiver I had paid to get it. The greatest problem was that his act didn’t really include anything memorable, so unless there’s a radical change of style (which is highly unlike), he will stay where he is now for til the end of time.
Alas, all was not lost even though the headliner wasn’t that good, for the funniest man on the stage that night was undoubtedly Noel James. I mean if you open your act by pressing your eye against the mic and saying ”I’d like to introduce my eye”, how bad can it be? The act verged on the surreal, full of wordplays both daft and smart. The one about his father working as a bootlegging mortician was rather good (”It was illegal. No undertaking on the motorway”) and the musical interlude rather not (”They said do a Beatles song. I said naa… naa nan nan nanananaa [to the tune of Hey Jude]”). I want to see more of this guy!
Incidentally, this explains the mystery of ”Whitehead, James”. See, I had jotted down the names during the night in order to remember who did what, but I couldn’t remember that the following day and therefore presumed it had to be the name of an interesting author. Silly me.
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