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Mike Wozniak: Egg And Spoon

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Jay Richardson

Inspired by his efforts to get his wife pregnant, Mike Wozniak’s meditation on parenthood is all the more entertaining for remaining, like Wozniak Jr currently is, predominantly in the abstract.

Despite his luxuriant moustache, this distinctive comic shares universal male concerns about untested, unproven virility. Although he’s less worried about the strength of his sperm than their potential aggression.

Endearingly prepping his crowd for ‘a bit of the old blue’, he scarcely delivers anything of the sort. A reference to pearl necklaces is amusingly tame, while a slight bend in his penis is responsible for the sort of cricket-ejaculate analogy that the likes of Andy Zaltzman, Chris Addison and Miles Jupp would roar over the boundary.

Although Wozniak and his wife seem to be in the habit of creating unnecessary problems to facilitate his routines, ignoring envelopes with windows and the car’s tax disc, he has a lovely way of spinning commonplace concerns round to his own existential angst – ‘to do’ lists becoming oppressive, Sisyphean tasks that find him passionately yet futilely pleading with the audience for empathy.

Too often, a routine stumbles before it’s begun as he tries and fails to initiate an easy segueway with an obscure reference, or one the crowd intuits but simply can’t be coerced into acknowledging. At times this is amusingly handled, as when he nakedly begs somebody, anybody, to prompt his picnicking material.

Elsewhere though, it needlessly interrupts the flow of the gig, a curious affliction given that he’s quite capable of introducing an outlandish premise – his mother’s use of the term ‘Pidgin English’ as an insult; a female acquaintance fluent in zero languages – and cleverly expand upon it from various angles. Why repeatedly ask after fans of the artist Paul Ackerman if you really want to talk about Paul the psychic octopus?

Returning to his conception theme, he fantasises a Bruce Wayne-style vengeance narrative as reason enough for a big family and takes issue with a self-help book on fertility, detailing the messy procedure he’s supposed to adopt for the act itself,wilfully gripping the wrong end of the stick to envisage a nightmare outcome.

Even if the presentation is sometimes lacking, there’s some fine lines and multiple layers to this original show, Wozniak’s burgeoning, leftfield wit even allowing him to make a mother-in-law joke in 2010.

Review date: 27 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Jay Richardson

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