Date Of Birth: 31/10/1946
Norman Lovett Videos
Original Review:Most people will know Norman Lovett as the dreary, universe-weary computer Holly from Red Dwarf. But heís also been performing stand-up for half a lifetime, with an act packed full of slick gags and high-energy pizzazz.
Only kidding. It is, of course, the same slow musings of a man aimlessly filling the yawning hours of his mundane life.
There are very few jokes you could identify, just distracted descriptions of simple pleasures. Finding a new place to rest his sunglasses is the high point of his timewasting week, as is buying plastic bags to clear up after his dog. ĎItís all nonsense,í he offers by way of deadpan commentary on his own set.
The comedy is drier than the Sahara, as mild-mannered and low-key as you can get while still maintaining a pulse. If you want a quick succession of sharp punchlines, youíll be disappointed, but if youíre looking for the quiet whimsy of someone old enough to know better indulging in his trivial distractions, Lovettís your man.
His quiet charm draws you into this world; the benign, half-vacant grin on his face shows heís enjoying this daftness, and warmly inviting you to share it. He knows exactly how ridiculous he looks, vainly trying to be cool or fiddling away with the props he pulls from his shoulder bag with childish fascination, and thatís more than half the fun.
He knows a thing or two about delivery - his masterful use of the pause and his bemused avuncular persona is a textbook example of commanding an audience's attention with underplayed authority, rather than belligerent shouting.
But itís a delicate comedy that could be crushed by the wrong circumstances, or leave an audience cold if theyíre not in the mood. That said, this modest act was an unlikely hit at the late Malcolm Hardeeís notoriously unforgiving Tunnel Club, so itís not just for quiet, reverential enjoyment.
Lovett is a true original Ė and as such you are probably just as likely to be baffled by his frustratingly aimless frippery as you are to find it quirky and delightful. Itís quite possible to experience both reactions in the course of the same set, too, as you hold out for the nuggets amongst the nothingness. But itís the nothingness that makes Lovett what he is, and heís too long in the business to change now. Date of review: May 2007
Norman Lovett Dates
Barry Cryer And His Imaginary Friends
Malcolm Hardee Charity Cabaret 2007 Double Header Tour