The 1 Like Fish
Topping & Butch
Two Episodes Of MASH
From Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival preview show
More Tim Vine videos
|On Dave's One Night Stand, Pt2|
|On Dave's One Night Stand|
|First TV appearance|
Stand-up Tim Vine co-starred in the BBC One sitcom No Going Out and both series of ITV1’s The Sketch Show is also a TV host, having devised and presented Fluke for Channel 4, which was nominated for a Rose d’Or Award.
He was also the first man to appear on Channel Five when presenting quiz show Whittle. Tim has also starred in The Tim Vine Christmas Present for Five, Saturday Live (ITV) and The Stand Up Show (BBC1).
Tim recently became the Guinness World Record Holder for telling the most jokes in an hour – smashing the previous record with a total of 499. He has appeared on the Royal Variety Show alongside Shirley Bassey and Kylie Minogue, and hastoured the UK with his The Joke Machine Gun show.
He burst onto the stand-up circuit by winning the Perrier Best Newcomer Award for The Tim Vine Fiasco at the Edinburgh Festival in 1995. That followed a runner-up prize in the Hackney Empire New Act Of The Year competition in 1993. Tim’s solo shows in Edinburgh include Tim Vine Flat Out (1998) and I’m Vine Thanks and Tim Vine and the Minotaur (both 1999).
One of the members of ITV's The Sketch Show
|Stand Up: 2005:
Edinburgh show: Current Puns
Tim Vine: Joke-amotive tour
Comedians, by and large, present their art surprisingly seriously. The storytellers and observationalists want to come across as the Everyman; while the philosophers and activists remain earnest about the message on which they hang the gags. The trend is such that even pun-mongers these days tend to present their work deadpan, as if each one-liner is a beautiful creation only to be appreciated in isolation.
But Tim Vine is one of the few holding up the music-hall tradition of being recklessly daft. He makes no pretence of the fact that his entire existence – at least on stage – is utterly preposterous. The wordplay is flagged up as cheap tat, but he’ll bang it out regardless, with a cheery acknowledgement of the dubious quality of the entertainment he’s offering.
It’s a disarming stance. You may enter the auditorium worried about the impression you give to the world and your peers, but a few minutes watching the idiot on stage, dressed in a crimson soldier’s tunic and a hat made out of balls of wool, and you can forget such trappings – you’re never going to look as stupid as that, so relax. Vine’s done his job, making the mundane concerns of day-to-day life evaporate.
His audience buy into this pantomime, too. And pantomime it is. The expected response is to groan, or sometimes cheer, the gags, and the crowd oblige. It will come as no surprise to learn that he’s just finished a stint in Snow White at the Richmond Theatre.
Much of the material is so cheesy he should be sponsored by Babybel. ‘What do you call a bundle of hay in a church? Christian Bale!’ But the force of the onslaught is disarming; the gags come at you like a volley of machine-gun fire, and you can’t avoid them all. Gradually the ‘wa-hays’ yield to more impulsive laughter, as the audience start enjoying this verbal clowning for real, and not just ironically.
For all the contrived, laboured wordplay, there are also some genuine gems in the mix, brilliantly concise gags that shine brightly. He acknowledges the fact that his method is to throw enough mud at the wall and hope enough sticks; but it’s clear despite his knockabout stage manner, he takes the task of gag-writing seriously. This is an hour and a bit’s worth of new gags, and you’ve got to admire his punmanship.
His is, of course, famously the only comedian to be inadvertently plagiarised by the dead, with many of his gags winding up attributed to Tommy Cooper. His style is, indeed, very similar, save for the magic element which comes from his ever-faithful support act John Archer.
Added to the mix are snippets of tacky songs and a bag so stuffed full of cheap props it must trigger an excess baggage charge. Here’s a phone with meringues stuck to the receiver, here’s a papier mache mountain, here’s a card with BNAG written on it – that’s bang out of order. There’s even a rubber chicken, how corny and unfashionable is that? But that’s Vine for you.
He revels in the shambles of it all, and sometimes it seems like his catchphrase is ‘I’d hoped that would get a better laugh…’ which he seamlessly integrates into his daft shtick. Sometimes he slides into the unprofessional as he looks through his sheath of notes to see which of his hundreds of gags he’s not yet got to, causing a lull in his otherwise full-throttle delivery, but hopefully that’ll be cured as the tour progresses.
There’s definitely an art behind his nonsense – a fact that’s highlighted by his audacious party piece: pen behind the ear. This is a man who should know better trying, and repeatedly failing to pull off a trick that, realistically, is unspectacular even when he does succeed. There’s no joke to it, but it’s marvellously entertaining and the audience cheer him on as if he were a British Wimbledon hope. Had this been done by a more ‘serious’ comedian, it would be hailed as a daring avant-garde piece. Instead, it’s knockabout high-jinks.
Die-hard Vine fans will also be pleased to see the brief return of Flag Hippo in the closing moments of the show, for one quick joke. You might think it’s a lot of effort to go to for a single laugh – but Vine would never think like that; for him nothing’s too much trouble for a chuckle. And that’s his irresistible charm.
|Date of live review: Monday 1st Feb, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 26th Sep, '12- Beck Theatre
Monday 16th Jan, '12- Leicester De Montfort Hall
Wednesday 19th May, '10- Metra Nightclub
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Monday 0th Aug, '00-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2005 -
Absolutely brilliant. Along with Lee Mack. Tim's the best of the best.Closely followed by Tom Stade. Highly Recommended.
I was picked out the audience as a guest with Brian May . It's my new claim to fame. Tim Vine was brilliant.
Saw the Chat Show at Edinburgh. Tim was brilliant but the format involving members of the audience was disappointing. Really didn't want to see a lot of egotistical prats making fools of themselves. Prefer the one man routine although it must be harder work
Saw him in Stoke, poor man's Tommy Cooper without the talent. Waste of an evening.
Second time we've seen him (last night, Wakefield Theatre Royal), second time I've pulled a muscle from laughing.rnrnHis support act's still crap though...
One of the finest comedians of our age. Up there with Stewart Francis, Jack Dee and Lee Mack. Truly brilliant.
Thank you for making me laugh
Saw him in High Wycombe, absolutely superb, I was in hysterics the whole night.
Not Going Out Series 5
Tim Vine: The Jokeamotive
Tim Vine: Punslinger Live
Biggest Ever Tim Vine Joke Book
Not Going Out Series 3
Not Going Out Series 2
Not Going Out Series 2
Tim Vine: So I Said To This Bloke
Not Going Out Series 1
Tim Vine: Current Puns
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Tim Vine: Punslinger
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
The Tim Vine Chat Show
Tim Vine: The Joke-Amotive [Edinburgh 2010]
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
The Tim Vine Chat Show 
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
The Tim Vine Chat Show 
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
The Tim Vine Chat Show 
Misc live shows
BBC London Children in Need benefit
Not Going Out
Tim Vine: The Joke-Amotive