Edinburgh Fringe 2000 (59)
Edinburgh Fringe 2001 (316)
Edinburgh Fringe 2002 (354)
Edinburgh Fringe 2003 (376)
Edinburgh Fringe 2004 (422)
Edinburgh Fringe 2005 (415)
Edinburgh Fringe 2006 (547)
Edinburgh Fringe 2007 (668)
Edinburgh Fringe 2008 (733)Edinburgh Fringe 2009 (773)
Edinburgh Fringe 2010 (927)
Edinburgh Fringe 2011 (963)
Edinburgh Fringe 2012 (1022)
Edinburgh Fringe 2013 (740)
Melbourne 2005 (26)
Melbourne 2006 (29)
Melbourne 2007 (31)
Melbourne 2008 (36)
Melbourne 2009 (36)
Melbourne 2010 (56)
Melbourne 2011 (36)
Melbourne 2012 (46)
Melbourne 2013 (57)
Misc live shows (204)
Montreal 2004 (6)
Montreal 2006 (10)
Montreal 2007 (15)
Montreal 2008 (17)
Montreal 2009 (17)
West End run (14)
See Less »
Jake Yapp's Bum Notes
James Dowdeswell: No More Mr Nice Guy
James Hately & Friends: Stubble Busting
James Mason Is Not Bill Hicks & Bobby Carroll Ain't No Richard Pryor
James Sherwood's Songs of Music
Jamie Kilstein: There Is No God And That's OK
Janey Godley: Domestic Godley
Jarlath Regan: Relax The Cax
Jason Byrne: Cats Under Mats Having Chats With Bats
Jason Cook: Joy
Jason John Whitehead: The Joker
Jason Kavan: Tough Crowd
Jeff Green: Life Ache
Jeff Kreisler 08
Jeremy Leverton: iStandup
Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Psychopath II
Jesus: The Guantanamo Years 
Jim Bowen: Look At What You Could Have Won 
Jim Jeffries: Hammered
Jimeoin On Ice
Jimmy Carr: Joke Technician
JL Roberts and Nadia Kamil Present Wisecrackin' Midsqueezin' Behemoth
Jo Caulfield: Two-Faced Bitch?
Joan Rivers Stand-up
Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress By a Life in Progress
Joanna Neary's Magic Hole
Jody Kamali: Backpacker 2
Joe Levi's Short Stories
Joey Page and Rich Brophy: The After Dinner Society
John Bishop: Cultural Ambassador
John Cooper : The 30 Year Itch
John Gordillo: Divide & Conga
John Hegley: Beyond Our Kennel
John Pinette: I Say Nay Nay
John Ryan: Hurt Until It Laughs
John Ryan: Those Young Minds
John Smith Free In Sick And Twisted
John Wheeler aka Barley Scotch
Johnny Candon: One Careless Lady Owner
Jollie: John and Ollie Stuck Together
Jon Richardson: Dogmatic
Jonathan Mayor: Glitter on the Dirt Road
Jonathan Prager's Comedy Free Festival Encore
The Jonny & Joe Show
Josh Howie: Chosen
Josie Long And Special Guests Mucking About
Josie Long: All Of The Planet’s Wonders (Shown In Detail)
Journey Central Comedy Hour @ Meridian
Juliet Meyers: Strange Ears
Junk Band Story... Uh?!
Just A Minute 
Justin Moorhouse’s Ever Decreasing Social Circle
Josh Howie: Chosen
It’s all well and good having a shockingly crazy and totally unique life story to be told- but some poor shmuck has to actually live through it. Which brings us to Josh Howie.
Raised against his will as a Buddhist, what better way to get his revenge than at the first opportunity running off to Israel and training to be a Rabbi. The only snag was being caught with a naked girl and getting kicked out the programme. He might have gotten away with it if she had been Jewish.
A screwed-up childhood is almost a prerequisite for being a stand-up; why else would you seek the approval of strangers, if not to replace missing parental love?
In which case, Josh Howie certainly has the background, thanks to his dippy hippy mother. His main complaint – here at least – is that she made him flip-flop between Buddhism and various new-age fads on her ever-changing whims. In rebellion, he sought stability in his faith, so looked to rediscover his family’s Judaism, going as far as rabbinical school in Jerusalem.
Mum might have let her faith lapse, but in one sense she did remain typically Jewish; being scarily overbearing. His mother, as an avalanche of publicity has revealed, is PR guru Lynne Franks, Jennifer Saunders’ inspiration for her Ab Fab character Eddie. But on stage, Howie never mentions her by name. This is not ‘look at my crazy, famous mum’, but a personal journey of discovery through his religious roots.
There’s Jewish jokes aplenty in here; about his neurosis, about his circumcision (naturally), about the religious rituals. Some are as gentle as a simple pun, others are uncomfortable gags about the Holocaust or ironic, near-the-knuckle lines that could be misinterpreted as racist. But no matter the vast variations in style, Howie links them all together seamlessly.
He is a very smart and hugely sophisticated writer; pulling the interesting facts from his life, then mixing honesty and wit, and only then garnishing it with punchlines. Since some of these incidents left psychological scars – his eviction from his rabbi training, or the rebirthing with his naked mother – he doesn’t play them for out-and-out laughs, but there’s always inherent humour in such painful embarrassment, which Howie engagingly draws out.
The few moments when he deviates from the autobiographical, such as his brief burst of surprisingly ordinary ‘Muslims as terrorists’ gags, look artificial by comparison. This is rightly presented more as a storytelling show than stand-up, and needs to stick to that ethos.
Howie is clearly of geekish tendencies, as his ill-advised attempts to create a Jewish rap group prove, and his performance is the sort of assured nerviness that’s always going to lead to comparisons with Woody Allen.
He can be over-earnest, and though affable, he’s not a naturally warm comedian. Good job, then, that the savvy, self-deprecating, gently mocking script compensates.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
No comments are currently available for this show.