Greg Cook – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Cook - who only got into comedy after seeing an appeal in Garry Bushell's newspaper column for TV talent hunt Take The Mike - cuts an unforgettable figure in his cheap vest and shirt.

His gruff, working-class approach lends his comedy a distinctive voice. And it's telling that he also has a hard-hitting political agenda, in contrast to most of the circuit's dumbed-down material about dope-smoking or TV nostalgia - which is almost exclusively performed by educated, middle-class comics.

He's unafraid to use bang-up-to-date topical material, with gags hewn from the previous days' headlines alongside his more polished flights of fancy in which he creates an absurd world where he rubs shoulders with the great and the good, possibly discussing 17th century French poets with Lady Thatcher, or setting John Major up with Edwina Currie.

But then you might not hear any of that, as Cook plays fast and loose with styles, the surreal brainstorms being mixed with painful puns and, a real novelty - straightforward pub-style gags that he penned himself.

Cook's a hugely prolific writer, and always delivers something new - not just the odd gag, but often every element of his routine. This can mean the consistency suffers, but thankfully the quality is normally high.

It's an impressive, ambitious and largely successful approach, even if a few ideas don't quite come off. And any comic who can coin the phrase 'back-scuttling the baroness' has to have a future.

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Published: 2 Jul 2008

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