Andy Smith – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Smith is something of a comedy Jekyll and Hyde, his act split into two distinct halves, one much more gruesome than the other.

At first, he’s a perfectly decent pun merchant, banging out the one-liners. They’re hit and miss, certainly, and he seems to suffer immensely from a rash of tag lines that do no justice to the gags they are supposed to support, but there’s an artisan honesty to this work.

With some hard graft, writing enough so that the weaker lines can be discarded, this north-western newcomer could unearth some potential.

But all of a sudden he transforms into a blatant, low-denominator crowd-pleaser, using every gimmick in the book – successfully, it must be said – to distract from the paucity of material.

It all happens when he introduces two Scally characters – one-dimensional thieving, workshy stereotypes, who he proceeds to examine as if a rare species on a wildlife documentary.

As if jumping on the Burberry-covered chav bandwagon were not populist enough, the music then starts pumping, the lights flash and we’re having a rave. This in-your-face display undoubtedly has an impact, energising the audience, but you might as well be at a nightclub for all the comedy value it has.

Sadly, it’s easy to see this going down with the rowdy hen nights at Jongleurs – even if Smith’s fee will have to be split three ways. But to be anything more than a novelty act, it’s the straight stand-up that needs to be developed.

Review date: 1 Nov 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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