Steve Hall – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Steve Hall – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

You might not think it from his droll, monotone delivery, but Steve Hall loves childishness – especially that part of it that revels in petty insults and cheeky swearing, done for no other reason than it’s neither big nor clever.

From his low-key, almost bookish demeanour, you might expect something highbrow. Think again. The focus is mostly on his gauche, clumsy behaviour as the self-crowned ‘king of the wallies’.

Well, I say ‘self-crowned’… his unsympathetic father might have had something to do with that, having doled out a lifetime of sarcastic putdowns to his graceless son.

This upbringing is now a key part of Hall’s set, and if it left any psychological scars, it doesn’t show. As a comic, he can appreciate his dad’s quirky bluntness and ever-inventive cursing. Plus, he now owns his awkwardness, turning potential embarrassment into entertainingly self-deprecatory comedy fodder.

Hall’s far from being a showman, always preferring the dry and sardonic over the animated. If he ever gets wound up, his middle-class reticence stops him becoming too emotive. But the downbeat commentary on real-life tales more often than not contains more than enough wry wit and well-chosen language to get the point across, and raise a laugh in the process.

That said, a couple of his routines are rather too involved. For example, his jibes against fundamentalist Bible-thumping homophobe George Hargreaves – an old college friend of Hall’s – take too much set-up, when the amusing central fact that he wrote the gay anthem So Macho cannot be topped by any window-dressing Hall wraps around it.

Hall is probably best known as being a third of the We Are Klang sketch group, which joyfully and exuberantly celebrate over-the-top stupidity. But as a stand-up in his own right Hall can offer equally assured, if much lower-key, laughs.

Review date: 6 Oct 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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