Sam Veale – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

There must have been a bizarre comedic collision somewhere, with Sam Veale as the deathtrap cut-and-shut job that resulted. He has the dry, droll, insouciance of Jack Dee, awkwardly welded to the prop-reliant shenanigans of wild-and-crazy-guy-era Steve Martin.

The two styles often don’t sit well together. It can be hard to be cold and derisive when you’re showing off a ridiculous home-made gizmo, so his patter wobbles unsteadily between the two.

But when he does get the difficult balance right, it works wonders. Veale is a juggler by background, and as he demonstrates some impressive feat or other while simultaneously moaning what a waste of his sad life it’s been to learn such a futile trick, deadpan and showmanship come together brilliantly.

He’s not lost the street-entertainer’s knack of chivvying the crowd, either, and this stands him in good stead with the audience. And his dismissive gags have style, once he’s got past the bog-standard opening banter about how he looks like Tim Henman.

Veale is still on a relatively low rung of the stand-up ladder, but he’s likely to have a future – especially if he can figure out how to introduce his props without seeming gimmicky, desperate or cheesy.

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Published: 2 Feb 2007



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