Rob Schneider, star of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, began performing comedy shortly after High School. His major TV debut was in 1987 on the David Letterman show after which he landed a regular slot on Saturday Night Live.
Adam Sandler and his production company, Happy Madison, have worked with Schneider on several films including 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard and Little Nicky.
Rob Schneider Videos
Rob Schneider at the Udderbelly
Rob Schneider is known more for being Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, or the guy who repeatedly yells ‘you can do it!’ at Adam Sandler in The Waterboy, than he is as a stand-up.
And this flying 4th of July visit to London isn’t likely to change that.
If you like easy jokes about the penny-pinching on budget airlines, impressions of foreigners and their wacky accents or observations about how George Bush speaks like an idiot, Schneider is the man for you. Everyone else will find most of his hour-long routine, delivered in an underpowered deadpan, dull and pedestrian.
There’s frequently no point of view other than the hack consensus of US stand-up: East Asians are bad drivers and have small penises, imagine what it would be like if Christopher Walken did the voice of satnav… and what’s the deal with those drug ads on TV and their scary list of side-effects? ‘A side-effect of Viagra is blurred vision,’ he notes. ‘It depends what your wife looks like – that could be an advantage!’ That’s the sort of joke you’re paying £22.50 a ticket for.
He’s lucky to have a Filipina mother and a Mexican fiancée to give him licence to do their comedy accents; though he doesn’t even have that flimsy excuse for his borderline racist takes on stereotypical Chinese and Japanese speech patterns. ‘You take back now,’ he barks repeatedly, just about managing to hold back the temptation to make ‘slitty eyes’ with his fingers, which would be entirely in keeping with the tone of his impressions. American comedians have different sensitivities when it comes to ethnic jokes, but liberal audiences aren’t likely to be comfortable with his stuff on Muslims, equating long names with terrorists and asserting: ‘In Iraq you’ve got your Sunnis, your Shias and your shitheads.’
It’s not all as bad as this. He finds some reasonably funny angles on relationships, dogs and the trappings of fame; routines which nonetheless tend to be made more on his delivery than his writing. As you might expect from a film actor and former Saturday Night Live star, his thumbnail character pieces, in which he brings to life characters populating his stories, are very effective – at least when he stays away from the funny foreigners. And he certainly knows how to employ emphatic repetition to build a rhythm for laughs, even when the material is built on sand.
A few glimpses of his real life peek through. He’s divorced (though his routine about his ex-wife seems to be mainly about point-scoring and swearing liberally) and has a daughter who turned 21 the day before the gig. These touches of the personal add a little more interest to the gig, but nowhere near enough.
The disappointing thing is that because of his name, Schneider can fill the large Udderbelly at substantial ticket cost, yet all across town comedy nights are offering better gigs at a third of the price, and struggling to win the crowds. I don’t know about ‘You can do it!’, but maybe Schneider just shouldn’t.
Rob Schneider Dates
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