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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Wendy Spero: Who's Your Daddy?
Wendy doesn't have a dad. But she has a sex-therapist mom, a joint shared with Hugh Grant and video footage of her grandma fainting.
Wendy Spero is like: I so love my boss.
And I'm like: So what?
And she's like: He's like this cool father figure because it's like, my Dad died when I was little. Me and Mom got on fine, just the two of us, but now my boss has a baby too and it gotten me into thinking about my own Dad.
And I'm like: And are there any jokes?
And she's, like, quiet on the subject.
That's pretty much the feeling of this breathless, well put-together but utterly inconsequential hour of semi-sentimental personal anecdotes which offers little in the way of laughs.
Jewish New Yorker Spero is a comic by night, office worker by day. There she sprinkles her boss's budget reports with glitter, she tells us to demonstrate what a whacky 'free spirit' she is. I bet.
Many of her tales are equally pointless she once sold knives for a living, and when she was demonstrating her wares she cut herself badly. That's it, that's the funny story and it's told over about four long minutes, unembellished with anything like a punchline.
Story after story runs into each other with similar lack of climax. She smokes a joint with Hugh Grant, her mum calls the fire brigade to dispose of a bug in their apartment, her grandmother feints at her bat mitzvah but the hilarious consequence are never quite as hilarious as she imagines.
She's confident in her delivery, well you'd have to be to get away with such slight material as this, but it's no substitute for comic ability.
Actually, she does have some talent. Brief footage of her sex-therapist mother performing Spero's stand-up routine proves she knows how to write a joke; evidence that's all-too sparse in the show before us now. At one point, she says: "You should know that I'm a pothead". Which might explain why this once seemed like a good idea.
Things take a more satisfying, if still unfunny, turn towards the end, as all the themes underlying her tales come together once she decides to piece together a picture of the father she never knew. It's a quietly touching finale to a show that is never insightful enough to be drama, nor funny enough to be comedy.
I saw her show in New York, too, last year. It is really funny and brought tears to my eyes at the end. I am a big fan
It was so refreshing to see something funny and entertaining and honest without same old one liners. I smiled the whole time and thought about my own family afterwards. No other show here has gotten me to do that.
I saw this show in New York and it is hilarious. She is not ashamed to talk about any subject. Definitely worth seeing