Stand-up John Gordillo has recently returned to performance after establishing himself as a comedy director, with credits that include Eddie Izzard’s Unrepeatable and Live At The Ambassadors shows, a stint looking after sketch collective Ealing Live, and any number of Edinburgh shows.
Earlier adopters of digital TV will remember him as the host of BBC Choice’s RDA, a topical show in the vein of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show which ran for an impressive 60 episodes over two series in 2000 and 2001 – but was never renewed when the channel became BBC Three. However, there are still a small handful of internet shrines to the show.
Gordillo started as a stand-up in the mid-Nineties, and returned to the circuit in 2005.
John Gordillo: Fuckonomics - Fringe 2009
John Gordillo’s offering this year is a well thought-out analogy of the sexual relationship as economic theory. Using his recent five-year relationship as an example, he takes us through his hypothesis, from the marketplace where you sell yourself using a variety of special offers, but once established in the relationship, there’s an inevitable ‘relationship tax’.
For every shag you receive there’s the necessary chore of having to listen to her continual verbal narrative on the irrelevant points of her day: non-events such as her deciding to catch the bus home then not getting the bus home, it was raining/then it wasn’t. Worst of all for a ‘weak liberal type’ like Gordillo – he also had to live with her 14-year-old daughter who stalks the house like a ‘hormonal Old Testament God’.
Gordillo engagingly works his way through this intelligent show despite the fact that on this particular night, getting a reaction from the audience was like wading through treacle – a fact he was all too acutely aware of.
Given that Gordillo’s theory relies on the fact that he has to suffer characteristics in a girlfriend that he finds unsavoury, to get what he wants out of a relationship, he’s on potentially hack, misogynistic ground. Coupled with a lack of compassion towards the aforementioned teenager, he could appear pretty heartless too.
But Gordillo’s continual self-deprecation makes him an endearing, empathic character rather than moaning male. As well as confessing that he fully acknowledges he is punching above his weight in this particular relationship, he also emphasises his wimpy demeanour - particularly in comparison to his macho, ball-scratching Spanish father.
That and the fact that he neurotically bumbles his way through the hour analysing his relationship in a manner not dissimilar to Woody Allen ensures that you’re with him all the way and serves to render the denouement all the more touching.