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Benny Boot: Fringe 2012
Benny Boot is a quirky, original and droll gag-writer, so it’s something of an anticlimax that this hour never quite builds up enough momentum to make the most of them.
Wrapping himself around the microphone stand and delivering a lazy, strangulated Australian drawl, he projects the image of a strange otherworldly philosopher, reducing human behaviour to eccentric one-liners.
Many of his best lines have a similar twisted logic to Stephen Wright’s fines. He applies perverse lateral thinking to contrived problems that don’t really exist – then reverse-engineers them into jokes that baffle logic. Then add a topper or two, and you have a well-packaged morsel of oddness.
But this is a very stop-start approach for a full show – and as he admits at the start: ‘I just do jokes and sometimes jokes do not work. They die.’
It’s true. He has a few that just don’t shine, and after every one, it’s as if Boot is back to the start, having to re-establish his comic credentials again.
There are a couple of attempts to break the pattern: a surreal new take on rock-scissors-paper, a bit of audience participation about favourite animals (just as a preamble for one bit); and, to end, a guitar track – a soporific strumming to underpin the jokes reminiscent of Demetri Martin.
Mostly, though, the gags are left to stand or fall on their own two feet, and mostly prosper. Sometimes they have their grounding in something real and relatable, but then take an unusual turn; other times they are just odd from the get-go. Eccentric gems include considering fire extinguishers to be doing jobs of work, planning his own funeral surprise, or describing the consequences of killing a spider with the first aerosol to hand.
Distilled down, these are a certain kind of warped genius – it’s just unfortunate that collectively, and mixed with jus a smattering of less successful jokes – they don’t amount to more.
|Date of live review: Sunday 5th Aug, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
Saturday 27th Aug, '11-
Friday 1st Jun, '07-
Brilliant, possessing truly funny bones. Puts the audience on a back foot that most stand ups wouldn't dare then brews up an epidemic of laughter that lasts. Deserves great things.
A genuinely hilarious and original comic.
Saw him at Comedy Carnival in Leicester Sq and laughed way more than twice. He's quirky and, clearly from audience reaction, not to everyone’s taste but if you like surreal, skittish comics then you'll enjoy being kicked in the guts by Benny and his huge biceps.
Saw him at the white horse, edinburgh fringe. Think i only laughed twice. Never heard him before. Think it will be long time til I hear him again.
Really great, totally relaxed the way he wraps him self around the mic. Mind you being tall he was blinded by the low stage lights at Careys Comedy night in Coventry it made him very 'wide eyed'. All in all a great set though and certainly worth a see.
Saw this chap in Bournemouth and in Camden for the Camden Crawl - both times I nearly pulled a muscle laughing! In his own words "that joke was dynamite!" He'll go far! Cheers Benny!
Benny is brilliant, but unfortunately is his own worst enemy as he loves to do new material. This mean he has always got lots of fresh new ones. You need to see him on a big night
Ben has his off nights, but when he is on it he "kicks that puppy in the gut" so well that i fall of my chair from laughter every time I watch him. I have faith in him and hope to see his performance at the International Comedy festival in Montreal one day.
Liam Speirs and Benny Boot: Frying Free
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Freestyle Comedy 
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Benny Boot: Set-Up, Punchline... Pause For Laughter
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Benny Boot: Def-Con 4
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Benny Boot: As Seen On TV