Rob Deb – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Rob Deb – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Rob Deb would be the first to admit he’s a geek – as if the Batman T-shirt he wears as stage attire doesn’t already scream the fact. And that’s exactly what he does, with much of his act nerdishly referencing films, or discussing how his obsessions have made him a social pariah.

Many other acts in this age of comic diversity celebrate their anoracky tendancies, but although it’s his main angle, Deb seems rather embarrassed by it all as he parades a series of self-deprecatory put-downs about life as an overweight, socially awkward 32-year-old who still lives with his parents.

It means there’s not a lot of joy underpinning the set, just a man trying to laugh off his inadequacies before his detractors get there first. Nor does he try to exploit what could be seen as a pitiful situation as the perennial loser for laughs tinged with poignancy, as he apparently does not want to expose his soul that much.

Deb has also taken a rather nerdish approach to writing; having figured out how jokes work, he uses their mechanics to generate punchlines based on his own circumstances. The result is slightly American in style, where any fact imparted is the set-up for an instant joke, without putting too much of his own personality into the mix. So his mixed parentage – half-Irish, half-Indian – obsessions and outsider status are all reduced to glib quips, with little attitude or character.

The industrious approach is adequate in getting the laughs, but ultimately his set lacks the soul and spirit that would bring you back for more.

Review date: 28 Jan 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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