Being Johnny Vegas
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2001
Being Johnny Vegas is the first expose of one man's continual attempts to resist temptation in all its basest forms.
Sometimes it's a shame to have to review just a single performance, rather than the whole range of what a comic is capable of.
Johnny Vegas is one of the foremost comedy talents in this country, eking sometimes painful laughs from the never-ending despair of his unique tragi-comic persona.But last night, that just wasn't happening.
It seems churlish to mention the shortcomings, as Vegas is well aware of them, his asides on the progress of his act going being an integral part of the show itself. "There's a bit of a lull," he said fairly early on, and it was a downer that lasted for much of the remainder of the night.
Claiming that he hadn't written a show, the typically maudlin Vegas instead craved interaction with the audience, pleading to be centre of attention.
But the bantering and the heckling was fairly limited from this reserved midweek crowd.
Occasionally something did click, prompting Vegas to launch into one of his tragically beautiful, pathos-tinged wails of self-pity, demonstrating the pinnacles this complex character is capable of.
But there were too few such moments to sustain the 90 minutes, producing a show that was ultimately as flabby as Vegas's exposed stomach.
Towards the end, Vegas cheers himself up with a Wham! medley, which would perhaps have been a suitable counterpoint to the comic woe preceding it, had things gone to plan.
Instead, it seemed as if the climax to the show was simply laughing at a fat bloke singing badly, the depth of the humour stripped away as the momentum flagged.
Failure is the risk you run if you're pushing boundaries, and while this performance was not a disaster, it was a disappointment.
Alan Sim - 29/08/2001
Having seen Johnny Vegas twice, I found him hilarious on both occasions and suffering his attentions made it even funnier. He's a true comic genius. If anyone finds him to be a drunken, shambolic, unfunny act, they are missing the point!
Jan Sim - 29/08/2001
We saw Johnny at The Gilded Balloon and The Queen's Hall and I have to say he was funny both times but he excelled at the Queen's Hall
Graeme Tulip - 23/08/2001
Vegas was wrecked and the show was a shambles from start to finish. It seems nobody dare voice their displeasure at shelling out £12.50 for this for fear of being booed and laughed at by the mob.