Gary Colman Videos
Gary Colman Is Very Rarely Rong: Leicester Comedy Festival 2010
This Gary Colman isnít the tiny wife-beating sitcom star, as he understandably has to point out from the get-go, but a former doctor for the SAS. I can only hope he was more focussed on that job than he is with his comedy.
He has some good lines, but theyíre surrounded by so much unnecessary flannel as to deaden the impact. This show is based around a few long stories that need to be shorter, suggesting that within this hour lies a perfectly serviceable 20-minute set.
Only the last of his yarns is about his time with the special forces, presumably either for fear of being typecast as the SAS guy or for breaching the Official Secrets Act. This is by far his best work, detailing the experience of an untrained medic out of his depth when mixing with Britainís fearless elite. Itís so compelling that you forget itís comedy Ė and only later realise there werenít actually many gags in the anecdote, though he tells it with a winningly self-deprecating good humour.
The longest of his tales is far more frustrating, telling of the time he became a have-a-go hero when witnessing a mugging from a night bus. The basis of the story is good, and there a couple of twists to drive it along, but itís not particularly well-told, with extraneous information and a jumbled narrative diluting the effect. There are kernels of fine gags along the way, but again theyíre not quite sharp enough to hit the spot. But you can usually see the potential and understand why the ideas are funny, but they donít hit you with enough force.
Between the tales, heís even more fuzzy, and he certainly didnít hit the ground running, squandering his vital first impression with lots of ill-developed blether. But he dealt with a very drunk, keen-to-join-in heckler with grace and aplomb Ė another tantalising glimpse of what he could be capable of, if only he was as ruthless with his material as his former military colleagues are with their enemies.
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