Brendan Riley – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Brendan Riley’s biggest asset is his instant affinity with his audience. It’s a natural part of his character that stands him in excellent stead as a compere.

Such unpretentious likeability, though, does give him licence to get away with some fairly workaday material. If he’s so inherently enjoyable company, he doesn’t have to work so hard on the nuts and bolts of his jokes to win over an audience.

As a result, he tends to be a little long-winded, spending far too much time on trivialities, dedicating a good five minutes, say, to mocking Big Brother winner Craig – someone whose existence has pretty much passed me by. So I was baffled as to why he spent so much time mocking the speech impediment of someone who now presents an obscure DIY programme on a minority digital channel – it just didn’t seem important enough to comment on, and at such length.

But personality counts most in stand-up, and that’s where Liverpudlian Riley scores so highly. He’s gregarious, enthusiastic, cheeky and talkative – all of which endear him to audiences. Nothing will faze him, it’s all part of the fluid conversation he’s having with the crowd, so he remains in apparent effortless control of even the rowdiest rooms.

It means that even though his material might not stand up to close scrutiny, Riley can be relied on to do the job required of him - to make the audience laugh.

Review date: 1 Nov 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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