Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Despite the millions watching comedy clips online, few comics have figured out how to make money from the web. But internet phenomenon Limmy has, by going back to basics and presenting his work to a live audience. How low-tech.
This is his second Fringe show, and the queue that gathers outside the Stand would be the envy of many comics who earn their reputation by tirelessly gigging up and down the land. Limmy – real name Brian Limond – earns his from the comfort of the spare room in his Glasgow flat.
He can’t just introduce his well-crafted video clips for an hour, of course, although there are a small handful of his greatest hits here. When he announces them, they are received in some quarters with the same enthusiasm as if the Rolling Stones had announced Satisfaction. One, rather strange, film depicts a worryingly realistic of someone having a nervous breakdown; another sees a recovering heroin addict call for a cab, becoming increasingly testy with the operator. But the man googling for Betty Driver-based pornography is surely the stand-out.
But for the most part, this is an hour of stand-up, albeit stand-up of the kind that’s heavily dependent on technology to bring the gags to life. For example, he can deconstruct Suggs’s Birds Eye advert by repeatedly showing and freezing the footage, letting his pedantically over-analytical brain pick apart every nuance, to hilarious effect.
In a reversal of roles, Dave Gorman becomes the subject of someone else’s PowerPoint-based comedy in the opening routine, sarcastically scrutinising an anti-spam email he sent that made him look, in Limmy’s words, like a ‘patronising fuck wank’. Forget subtlety, this is little more than a catalogue of sweary, base abuse – but Glaswegians have a reputation for being able to this sort of thing passionately well, which Limmy’s happy to help spread.
Another routine about ‘smelly fannies’ likewise seems to rely on crass language to get the laughs, but it’s actually a better piece of storytelling stand-up than you might think – even if it could do with an edit. Yes, he is coarse, but he’s more than just coarse.
He knows he’s playing to his fans, and that gives him a confidence and friskiness that beams from the stage, creating an atmosphere you could never download. His wit translates well from the digital world to the physical one and could yet be stand-up’s first genuine internet star – unless that sneezing panda brings his own show to the 2009 Fringe.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
big tam - 16/01/2010