[Review] Danny Bhoy - Like Elvis With Parkinsons

Photo via The Daily Telegraph

How do you review a stand up comedian? Success in stand up is, like any performance art, equal measures the performer's act and the audiences reactions. True, if you are paying tickets to see a headliner, you are probably more inclined to find him funny. Though, you're less likely to laugh at someone you quite enjoy if you have an impacted colon. In the same way, even the best written jokes, which have killed a hundred times, can fall flat if the comedian is having an off night.

To review a stand up show then, is actually pretty easy. Was he shit? Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy's Wander-Lust Tour seems to be a success as he was (as usual) very funny, and the audience reacted accordingly. At the very least, he was not shit.

Scottish born, but owing his success to a huge following in Australia, Bhoy's act is a flighty mixture of improvised reactions, well planned detours, and the fine art of orchestrated accidents. Each show follows a frame work, which allows Bhoy to follow the audience's lead, while exploring his own well worn territory. A prime example from the performance I saw actually delayed the show, as Bhoy grabbed hold of the phone of an audience member, which had rung several times, and had a conversation with her son, recently a new father. It wasn't hilarious, but it was raw and unpredictable, and could have went terribly. But Bhoy knows what will get the laugh, and how far to push the gag, and it went off like gang busters. An off the top of his head comment about German contact lens clearly surprised Bhoy more than gathered a laugh from the audience, but we appreciated the effort.

There were, of course, slow points. The show doens't end with the biggest bang, though I can't be certain if perhaps this wasn't because he was running long, and some stage hand just beyond the curtain was desperately prompting Bhoy to rap things up. Bhoy, for his part, seemed keen to keep going, if not for the ever growing crowd in the lobby waiting for the next show. A bit about religion and beer didn't play as well with my crowd as he might have been hoping, but he worked through it.

Curiously, a recent performance by Bill Bailey, British comedian and part time troll, also hit a rough patch when it came to religion. Bailey, though, was able to bring the audience around by pointing at the bit, acknowledging it, then leading us towards it again slowly. Bhoy's style, something best resembling a tree root, allowed him to just move on to the next tangent.

His hyper, jittery stage persona, one that can never stand still, and seems infinitely delighted at his own material, is one I'm happy to partake when I can. I've seen him twice now, back when he was first beginning to gain recognition, and now that his success has been cemented and little has hanged. Success, it seems, hasn't went to his head. He hasn't become self obsessed, or inclined to believe he is entitled to laughs. Like a Viking crotch spike, sometimes you get surprised, even by what you see coming right at you.

Check out Danny Bhoy's site for tour dates near you.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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