Tom Gleeson: Non-Stop Tom

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Tom Gleeson is clearly an above-average comedian, with a relaxed, genial style and a quick mind able to produce a decent line for every eventuality.

But there’s a yawning emptiness to a full hour of his stand-up, as he puts so little of himself or his own opinions into the show.

Instead of passions and revelations, it’s pretty much 60 minutes of gentle observation in which everything is gently mocked for no other reason than that’s the dismissive stance a comic supposed to take.

Combine that with a lack of structure or big idea, and Non-Stop Tom seems more like an extended club set than a fully-fledged show.

That feeling is reinforced by the way he so frequent resorts to banter, quizzing audience members about their origins, travels and taste in movies, each question providing the simplest way into prepared routines about those very topics. This is what passes for a framework.

Gleeson’s a good conversationalist, with the confidence and speedy responses only a decade of performing can bring, but this feels like fast-food comedy, momentarily funny while leaving no lasting impression.

He trains his sights on pretty much anything and anything: fat kids, hangovers, Australia’s controversial ‘where the bloody hell are you’ tourists ads, Big Brother, the forthcoming Superman movie – anything he’s thought of half a good idea for. It’s a radio-presenter’s style, covering a lot of vaguely topical ground, but with no real depth.

Things pick up when he moves away from the generic: he seems curiously fascinated by the existence of castrati singers, for instance, and his ideas for revenge on noisy neighbours at least seem to come from genuine frustration. But in the main, this is too superficial a show to leave much impact.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
May 2006

Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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