Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue
Reginald D Hunter
Rev Obadiah Steppenwolf III
Roy Chubby Brown
Ruth E Cockburn
From BBC Three's Live At The Apollo
More Russell Kane videos
|Needing a toilet break|
|Smokescreens and Castles|
|Dave: One Night Stand|
|Russell Kane wins the 2010 Edinbrugh Comedy Award|
|Receiving the 2010 Edinburgh Comedy Award|
|On Edinburgh And Beyond|
|Russell Kane Guerilla Comedy|
Russell Kane won the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2010, on his third time of being nominated, having scooped best newcomer in 2006.
His career started in 2004, when he won the Laughing Horse new act competition, and the following year he was nominated for best newcomer in the Chortle awards.
Montreal Just For Laughs 2011: One-Stop World Tour
Seems like the Just For Laughs Festival is closing the door to immigrants this year. Where once there were separate showcases for the Brits, the Irish and the antipodeans, now there is only one ghetto for comedians originating from outside North America, the One-Stop World Tour.
But although they may have come far, they don’t share the US comic’s infuriating habit of asking the Montreal audience questions like ‘do you guys have Duane Reade here?’ every minute, as if too lazy too Google their references.
Indeed, compere Adam Hills knows what floats a Canadian’s boat… and that’s mention of an exchange rate. He plays up cross-border rivalry skilfully, with teasing reference to America’s economic woes, before flattering the audience by telling them they’re the most polite crowd he’s encountered… well, after the Dutch. He also highlights the aversion to boasting among this line-up of comics. Rather than be introduced with a list of TV shows they have been on, as is the American tradition, everyone tonight says they don’t care how they are brought on stage, they just want to do their jobs.
The different transatlantic sensibilities don’t always work in the comedian’s favour, though, with audiences weaned on slick, fast gags not always completely at ease with other styles. Case in point was the first act, the ever-kinetic Russell Kane, who struggled to square the circle of wanting to say meaningful things about how he rebelled against his tough, unemotive and racist dad by becoming all artsy, camp and liberal – while still cracking the punchlines demanded of a short set. Though the intent was noble, and some of the jokes sharp, the result seemed like a rush, even to English ears.
As a counter to that freneticism, was laid-back Rhys Darby, already possessing of star status thanks to Flight Of The Conchords. And he doesn’t move far from the earnest-but-useless persona he had in that show in his stand-up. There’s a nice line in underplayed silliness as he acts out an errant handshake, or describes how the Transformers movie should really have played out, but the best moments come from him being misunderstood by an automated voice recognition service on the phone. This is almost a hack topic, but by the simple act of repetition, Darby becomes a comically desperate figure in the story, giving it a punch a simple observational routine would lack.
Good though that was, it was down to Russell Howard to really energise the room, with a punchy, pacy routine that leapt with an irresistible sprightliness from semi-innocent childhood pranks to playful adult stories from the bedroom. Most Brits already know this fresh-faced comic is a blast of positive energy, with solid jokes and pin-sharp imagry underpinning the effusive spirit. The Canadians and Americans seemed suitably impressed, too.
Beardyman is an odd booking for a comedy festival. He’s a superlative beatboxer, but a terrible comedian, yet still gives it a go. Although he overcame an early microphone failure superbly, the stand-up, as we shall generously call it, which prefaced his real skills was as flat as the rawest open-mic act, begging the question of why, when Britain produces so many top-notch comics, it’s Beardyman who got the coveted invitation to Montreal. However, once he kicked into his impressive live looping session, producing impressive bursts of sound with versatile range in an instance, that question was definitively answered, even if this set-piece was frustratingly short. If he can integrate comedy with his unquestionable vocal skills – without becoming a Reggie Watts clone – this would be the way ahead.
Next up, ventriloquist Nina Conti with her Scottish grandmother, in latex form. Her set was a real crowd-pleaser, as she brought up an audience volunteer for a spot of silly mindreading. Comedically, this isn’t all that clever, but Conti’s quick-witted and has endless reserves of self-deprecating charm; while a quick yet hilarious hypnosis skit at the end of her set shows off the more existential ideas she usually toys with.
More charm from Tom Gleeson, the only Australian on the bill, aside from Hills. His anecdotes are always well-told, although often too light in substance for my liking, especially over an hour show. Yet in this brisk set, he nailed it with a raucously entertaining yarn about a visit to a masseuse who turned out to be a masseur, in which he exploited a latent homophobia very skilfully.
But if it’s tales you want, Greg Davies is your man. Ignoring the witless yell of ‘clunge’ from one loud-mouthed Inbetweeners fan, he amusingly highlighted his own physical inadequacies before introducing the real star of his routine, his seventysomething father who’s embraced old age as an excuse to behave exactly as he pleases. That said, it will be the horrendous Christmas dinner exchange in which his sister introduced his mother to the concept of oral sex which will really stick in the mind, thanks to Davies’s superb storytelling abilities and masterful delivery.
Finally came David O’Doherty with his usual mix of rock-and-roll ambitions and modest means, banging out the duet he wrote for Shakira or his trademark Beefs 2011 on his child’s keyboard. He knows how ridiculous he is, as demonstrated by the story of the instrument’s demo mode accidentally being activated on a train’s sacred quiet carriage. But that awareness doesn’t quell his impotent rage at the largely mundane bugbears of his quirky lyrics, delivered with a skilful sense of timing.
|Date of live review: Thursday 28th Jul, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 31st Oct, '12- Hammersmith Apollo
Russell Kane: Manscaping
Saturday 27th Aug, '11-
Wednesday 25th Aug, '10-
Russell Kane: Human Dressage - Fringe 2009
Monday 24th Aug, '09-
Russell Kane's Fakespeare: The Tragikal Saveings of King Nigel - Fringe 2009
Friday 7th Aug, '09-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 - Tuesday 0th Aug, '07-
Sunday 17th Sep, '06-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 - Monday 0th Aug, '06-
Show - Misc live shows - Monday 1st Mar, '04-
Saw him at St David's Hall. Extremely energetic, dreadfully funny and his material is embarrassingly true. Pure comedy genius in its finest form.
Russell at the Ironworks Inverness 16th March,he played to a capacity crowd despite feeling unwell, but like a true professional he just got on with the gig and proved his worth. Audience loved him, despite a few hecklers, he coped reasonably well with them. He certainly makes good use of the stage and engages his audience with ease and the time past quickly, too quickly! Awards received at the Edinburgh Festival are testament to his skill as a comedian and they showed that night.
Hilarous, and fit as fuck!
Is it just me who thinks Russell Kane and Pete Firman are the same guy?
He is not funny... at all
".... the strutting, preening physicality of his stage act serves no comedic purpose...." yeah, like Max Wall, Tommy Cooper and the like. Oh, wait a minute.... Fair enough, you didn't like the guy but maybe you need to be a tad more specific about his *material* for readers to afford this any weight over and above a simple "not for me".
If people find him funny, they find him funny - but comedy genius he ain't. Watching him on Channel 4's Magners Brighton Festival, I thought he was irritating in the extreme. The strutting, preening physicality of his stage act serves no comedic purpose and the machine-gun delivery masks a paucity of material. He's clearly very impressed with himself but he simply doesn't have the observational skills and insight into human behavior that mark out the best comics.
I think he's copying Russell Howard.
|Another BBC Three series for Russell Kane
Co-hosting with Radio 1's Greg James
06/02/2012 Permanent link
The Humorist, by Russell Kane
Novel about a comedy critic who doesn't know how to laugh
Russell Kane: Smokescreens and Castles
Edinburgh and Beyond
The Comedy Zone
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Russell Kane's Theory of Pretension
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Edinburgh and Beyond 
Russell Kane: Easy Cliche And Tired Stereotype
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Russell Kane Presents Fakespeare: The Lamentable Tragedie Of Yates's Wine Lodge
Russell Kane: Gaping Flaws
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Russell Kane: Human Dressage
Russell Kane’s Fakespeare: The Tragickal Saveings of King Nigel
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Russell Kane: Smokescreens & Castles
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Itch: A Scratch Event 
Russell Kane: Manscaping
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Live At The Electric: Live At The Fringe
Russell Kane: Posturing Delivery
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Comedy Gala In Aid Of Waverley Care 2013
Russell Kane: Smallness
Misc live shows
Laughing Horse New Act Final 2004
Edinburgh And Beyond 2007