Dermot Whelan – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Dermot Whelan’s a likeable, upbeat act – so you can easily see how he landed his day job as the breezy breakfast host of a mainstream Dublin radio station.

His stand-up, however, suffers from so many unconvincing premises and weak pay-offs, for which his energy and charm cannot compensate.

He moans, for example, about getting stuck behind a tractor on the road. But apart from echoing every driver’s frustration, he can’t do anything more, so limply imagines tractors lying in wait ready to pull out just in front of him, in pointless detail. There’s no application beyond the first thing he thinks of, so the material ends up sounding like flimsy social chit-chat than anything with more comic value. His train of thought seems to have got stuck behind limbering farm machinery, too.

Other routines fall into the ‘well, you had to be there…’ category, such as when he moans about Americans finding it hard to pronounce his name, which isn’t, after all, that unusual for us. It probably bothers him almost every day, but he can’t persuade us to care.

If the punchlines were good enough, the mundane set-ups would be fine, but - save for a couple of notable exceptions - he generally goes nowhere, almost chatting for chat’s sake.

The set reaches a low when he gets his guitar out, for lyric-swapping tedium of the most contrived kind, rewriting the Julio Inglesias hit Hero with the line ‘I can be your Aero baby,’ just cos the worlds sound a bit similar. Does that make it a joke? It’s hard to see how…

Review date: 9 Jun 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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