Comedy DVD Round-Up
- Brian Donaldson
- 16 November 2012
We judge the Christmas comedy contenders, from Sarah Millican to Brendon Burns
With a ridiculously vast amount of live comedy DVDs out for Christmas (30 at the last count), it’s a disappointing sign of the times that Pam Ann and Sarah Millican are the only females releasing new work. And it’s a proper shame that Thoroughly Modern Millican Live (●●) is such a timid affair considering it’s from a comic who once had a seriously sharp bite. Much of it revolves around her favourite F-words (food, feet, fannies, farts) but her amiable chatty banter lacks edge and her inability to hear every single audience shout-out (of which there are oh-so many) first time means the show’s rhythm is truncated and the DVD has about ten minutes that could have been shaved off.
Cutting Brendon Burns’ Y’Know: Love ‘n’ God ‘n’ Metaphysics ‘n’ Shit (●●) would probably have made little difference to the quality in a show which aims to platform the Aussie’s intellectual side but offers up a mish-mash of confused, ranted opinions whose pay-off (unlike the daring So I Suppose This is Offensive Now!) is a nausea-inducing damp squib. The unreconstructed part of Burnsy’s personality crops up in Phil Nichol’s Nearly Gay/The Naked Racist (●●) double header, with neither of them emerging from proceedings with a massive deal of credit. Sure, Nichol’s energy is impressive but his unremittingly ‘wild’ style becomes too oppressive to enjoy. Pure enjoyment is to the fore, though, in Jon Richardson’s Funny Magnet (●●●) as he deliberates on Masterchef, London, Cinderella and pornography, while being apologetic about having nothing on Syria but loads about flatmates who can’t do the washing-up properly. Last Days of Sodom (●●●) has Frankie Boyle at his usual caustic self, but the unrelenting darkness is beginning to look a little tired.
Best of this bunch come from a Scottish Justin Bieber hairalike and a Canadian who thinks he keeps having problems with airport security as he looks like a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute act. Daniel Sloss Live (●●●●) features the Fife comic in typically assured form as he entertains a large Glasgow crowd with warmly inventive anecdotes about celebrity, cuisine and sex with views you might not always agree with but which always come from a warm and honest place. Glenn Wool’s problem might be that he is just a little too honest and No Lands Man (●●●●) has tales that will make you wince out loud as he conspiratorially draws us in to a tale which links a Belgian music festival, anal probing in Indonesia and the death of Bin Laden that shows that it is indeed possible to pack in comedic detail and still deliver a strong and lucid story.