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John Scott is Totally Made Up

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

I’ve absolutely no idea what the Spike Milligan award was, but John Scott was runner-up in it in 2003. And last year he won £12,000 in a brewer’s Take The Mic competition for Scottish acts. According to his tongue-in-cheek blurb, that makes him ‘multi-award-winning’.

What judges saw in him, is less clear, as this is an hour of competently delivered but mostly dull stand-up, with no little creativity and no ambition.

An opening joke is about a gig in Wigan where the audience was full of people with ‘shaved heads and no neck and…’ wait for it… ‘that was just the women!’ You could forgive a tediously easy ice-breaker, I suppose, but I can’t see how any comedian could be proud of saying a line like this, and it’s not the only time he uses the device.

Nor does the material strive for anything original. He’s still not only doing jokes about the 2007 terrorist attacks on Glasgow Airport – but the very same joke people where cracking at the very moment the news broke: Glaswegians will punch someone even if they are on fire.

Other keen observations from his 41 years on earth include the fact that poor people wear tracksuits even though they don’t do any exercise, Glaswegians use the c-word like punctuation – and sometimes he finds himself wandering into the kitchen and wondering what he came in for. I got a similar feeling after walking into his show.

He admits his section on the differences between the genders is ‘the thing comedians have been talking about forever’, then offers up absolutely nothing on the topic. Imagining that men would have a different approach to pregnancy is as far as it gets and it’s lazy, lazy stuff.

Occasionally he transcends this with some anecdote unique to him. The holiday to Egypt offers up a funny moment when he’s told how to get through a checkpoint, he’s got a couple of scary heckler stories, and the recreation of one of his potentially offensive sketch character has a lot of fun to it that’s absent from the rest of the hour.

This is a very pedestrian set from a comic who just doesn’t seem to be trying.

Review date: 25 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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