Debra DiGiovanni

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

Visiting Canadian comic Debra DiGiovanni blows through a sparsely populated Stand on an engagingly prickly attitude and a sharp sense of comedic rhythm, even though the actual material doesn't hold up to much scrutiny.

She takes a bitchy tone to what are often fairly simple, if snidey, observations, hoping a short psychotic cackle and a cry of: 'Do you understand what I'm saying!' will underline her point. And indeed, the persona of the evil best friend gabbing acidly takes her often pedestrian comments a long way.

The set is a checklist of cliché. Air travel, smoking dope, predictive text going awry, daytime television… this is her bread-and-butter fodder, all seen through her prism of a desperate 39-year-old singleton who drinks too much and vegges out in front of the TV with only her cat to cuddle.

It’s a familiar comic character, and DiGiovanni is definitely a big personality, which proved a great asset for the peculiar demands of the American reality show Last Comic Standing and also gives her an imposing presence on stage here in Glasgow. But spread over an hour or so, the need for more invention, both in the choice of subjects and the uninsightful comments she makes about them, shows.

That’s not to say she isn’t entirely without good jokes – there are a couple of sharp self-deprecating gags about her weight, and her assumed arrogance. But that sits alongside obvious segments about waking up next to someone much less attractive than you thought, or forced observations along the lines of: ‘What’s the deal with saying app rather than application?’ Is that really such an irritant to her – or anyone else?

Sassy, this former Canadian female comedian of the year undoubtedly is, but the writing lags a long way behind her personality.

Review date: 30 Mar 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Glasgow Stand

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