James Campbell: Just Another Comedian

Note: This review is from 2002

Review by Steve Bennett

There's something quite enticing about the title of this show.

Ironically billing yourself as Just Another Comedian is actually quite a hard epitaph to live up to. It implies you have enough confidence in your abilities to undersell yourself, safe in the knowledge that you will nonetheless impress with your comic might.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case here. Instead, you get exactly what it says on the tin: Just another comedian.

You have to feel some sympathy for a stand-up playing to just six people in the middle of the afternoon - but that's the brutal reality of Edinburgh. In his favour, Campbell did prove adept at handling such a small, err, crowd, delivering his material as a friendly, intimate chat.

"It would have been cheaper for you to come round to my house," he said at one point.
"We could have sat around and watched TV."

And that's exactly the feeling you get here, that you are sitting around chatting with an amiable, entertaining friend. But that's not enough to make a show.

For there is very little substance here (a fact also laid bare by the fact the performance only clocks in at around 40 minutes), it really is just another stand-up, talking about things stand-ups talk about - TV shows, films, sex, sex, and sex - without revealing much about himself or his world view. When he does get a bit more personal, the show picks up, but these moments are few in an otherwise unexceptional affair.

More typical is the closing number, a Simon and Garfunkel tune with the lyrics changed so to be about a 'big and hard' penis. Hmmm.

Review date: 1 Jan 2002
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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