Patrick Monahan: Do The Right Thing

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Review

This is Patrick Monahan's most successful attempt yet to meld his exuberant, warm, spontaneous audience love-in with proper scripted gags and material.

It's still not drum-tight ­ I don't think he'll ever be ­ but demonstrates a newly developed discipline in his writing, even if the show still overran by nearly 20 minutes.

He makes his entrance like a gameshow host, waving his arms among the air, high-fiving the crowd. What's more Monahan's one of the few comics who can pull this off without seeming (a) cheesy or (b) sarcastic. His bouncy, enthusiastic likeability is genuine, demolishing any cynicism.

He flips between anecdotal tales, baggily hooked on to the idea that the smallest decision can change your life, and unscripted banter to set it up.

The talk is of Burger King, whose 'you got it ethos' is stretched when they're out of stock, of encountering bashed-up drunks in late night kebab stores and, best of all, of seeing a party of young kids snorting sherbert as if it were well, sherbert of a more class A kind. What should he do in these situations? That's what Monahan asks.

It's all very conversational, but this year he has had the good sense to add some plausibly entertaining gags to the narrative, sparking things up with unexpected punchlines ­ one of them a visual, and a truly startling surprise.

His unquenchable energy is still the most appealing part of his act, mind. He's the comedy equivalent of mainlining Red Bull, and if he were any more animated, he'd be a Pixar character. In the final section he plugs back into this, with an extended bit of audience business.

One of the punters he'd previously got into conversation with is brought on to the stage for a pep talk that he can be who he wants to be. Suddenly a gig has become a motivational exercise. And after a lot of daft monkeying about, the chosen one is crowned king and promised that all his dreams can come true. It's feelgood stuff, even if this is the part of the show that's most indulgent and over-milked, and you can't help but walk out into the night with a spring in your step and a song in your heart. Even if it is by Celine Dion.

Steve Bennett

 

Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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