Craig Campbell – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Craig Campbell – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Ursine Canadian émigré Craig Campbell is one of those natural raconteurs who can instinctively entertain and amuse, no matter what yarn they’re spinning. Such ingrained skill ensures a set that’s guaranteed to have you chuckling – even if you might later struggle to remember what it was that was so damn funny. The answer is Campbell himself.

He plays up a naive Canuck character to great effect, adopting an exaggerated persona of rugged outdoorsman bewildered and impressed in equal measure by the trials of modern life. A Crocodile Dundee of North America if you will.

He starts slow, keeping the energy low as he settles us all in. There aren’t many gags for a while, but patience is rewarded once he hits his storytelling stride.

Many of the anecdotes and observations come from his travels, and Campbell uses national stereotypes to great advantage. Coming from a supposedly peaceful, risk-averse country, he flatters the British with his respect for the hard-drinking culture in which caution is so often thrown to the wind. Like when we’re driving on our terrifyingly busy roads, for instance.

It’s a neat trick because he can simultaneous mock us and make us feel good, as we laugh resignedly: ‘Yes, we ARE like that,’ while being secretly proud of those quirky elements of national character.

As for his own character, Campbell is amiable, witty, unhurried and talkative – the ideal barroom companion, in other words. Exactly what you want in a conversationalist stand-up.

Review date: 18 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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