Snigger Happy at the 2012 Brighton Fringe
This three-hander showcases the sort of comedian there never seems to be any shortage of: amiable chaps, chatting with some charm about their everyday lives, though struggling to find much point of difference between themselves and countless others.
Opening act Alex Love was probably the least memorable of the lot, the only thing that really sticks in the mind is his obsession with piss, with several stories revolving about unfortunate urine incidents. These, and another yarn about losing his virginity tend to be rather waffly, filled with unnecessary scene-setting and the sort of small-talk that peppers real-life conversations, but really ought to be exorcised from stand-up.
There are one or two nice lines, but not really enough for this to feel special. Still, he seems like a nice chap. But don’t they all?
Luke Thompson really overplays his two main jokes – hackneyed as they are. One is the peculiar way newsreaders intone the headlines, which is deftly done, and he captures their cadences perfectly. But when he extends that simple but effective observation into the formulaic ‘imagine what he’s like at home’ territory, the interest quickly evaporates.
After mentioning the Olympics, but bizarrely abandoning the routine before it had begun, Thompson moves on to the second part of his set, which revolves entirely around a Robert De Niro impression, adding no extra value to this tired comedy staple.
Paul Langton stands slightly apart from the others, thanks to a bolder personality and more committed delivery. He looks a bit of a shambles – possibly the effects of an afternoon’s flyering in the intense Brighton sun – as he bundles though some rather boisterous, bawdy material.
It comes as something as a surprise, then, to find he’s not only a Catholic, but a keen one, helping out at his local church. Whenever the word Catholic is mentioned in stand-up, the word paedophile is never far behind (indeed, it’ss comedy’s role to keep reminding people) and so it goes here. While Langton’s take on the subject offers few surprises, he has enough performance skills to give a predictable payoff maximum impact.
Whether you’d actually pay to hear him is a moot point, but he holds the attention.
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