Donald Mack – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Donald Mack is a confident, gregarious performer; the sort of comic and audience instinctively feels safe with, happy to let him shepherd them towards the gags.

But what a load of obvious, familiar, material he peddles. He has a herd mentality, slavishly following the same train of thought as everyone else.

Dumb Americans putting the 9/11 date the wrong way round, the inevitable disappointment of the virgins suicide bombers martyr themselves for, the way Asians with rucksacks get plenty of room to themselves on public transport… tell us one we don’t know. Please

Equally uninspiring is his tendency to deal with every woman in the audience - and not just the gobby hecklers – by threatening to sleep with them. It’s meant playfully, rather than sinisterly, but it’s not edifying. Add a ‘and so I stabbed him’ punchline or two, and the portrait of a comedian running low on ideas is complete.

Yet, despite all this dross, you still warm to Mack as a performer. He’s charming and affable – and just often enough demonstrates he is capable of better. His description of his point of view as the oxymoronic ‘cynical optimist’, for instance, shows a nice way of encapsulating an idea into a gag.

If he can be good company despite being burdened with the weakest of material, imagine what he could achieve if he actually found something to say.

Review date: 30 May 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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