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Gary Delaney

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Original Review:

If you want a lively, spontaneous act full of easy banter, look elsewhere. Gary Delaney has an unyieldingly deadpan posture that makes Jack Dee look like Ainsley Harriot.

There's little in the way of stagecraft or the niceties of audience empathy, all you get is puns. Lots of them. Some brilliantly inspired. Some not.

Comics who peddle such wordplay normally have a kind of cheeky "I can't believe I'm getting away with this" type delivery that encourages punters to buy into the ridiculousness of the situation.

But Delaney's approach concentrates all the attention on the purity of the joke, making for a harsh environment for material. In this atmosphere, the weakest gags will die, starved of a persona to support them.

However, in true Darwinist manner, the strongest jokes thrive - and Delaney's strike rate is rising fast, meaning there is plenty to enjoy - including a generous handful of real gems that verge on the genius.

Date of review: May 2002

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