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Edinburgh Fringe 2008 (733)Edinburgh Fringe 2009 (773)
Edinburgh Fringe 2010 (927)
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Tania Edwards, Sometimes Interrupted
Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit 2008
Tartan Special: Barry & Tommy's Scottish Comedy Allstars
Tea And Cake II: In The Gateau
Tealights Are For Lovers
Teen Comedy Improv
Terry Milligan's Bringing in the Sheep
Terry Saunders: Figure 8
That Needs Cleaning
They Shoot Roos, Don't They
This Show Belongs To Lionel Richie No 1: Sketch Show
This Show Belongs to Lionel Richie No 2: Stand-Up
This Show Belongs To Lionel Richie No 3: Up Arthurs Seat
This Show Belongs To Lionel Richie No 4: Dial-A-Sketch
This Show Belongs To Lionel Richie No 5: Comedy Mob
This Show Won't Change Your Life (But It Will Make You Laugh)
Thousand Years of German Humour
Tiger Lillies' 7 Deadly Sins
Tim FitzHigham: The Bard's Fool
Tim Minchin: Ready For This?
Tim Vine: Punslinger
Tina C: Tick My Box
Tom Allen: A Voyage Round My Mother
Tom Bell & The Age of Rockstar Death
Tom Corbett: Universal Horror
Tom Stade: Oh Fuck, Do We Need A Title, Too?
Tom Wrigglesworth: I'm Struggling To See How That’s Helping
Tommy And The Weeks: Powershow!
Tony Cowards: Festival Of Football 2
Topical Scurvy: For Lunch
Two Birds, A Gay And A Fat Dude
Two Comics For Free And A Guest Comic... Also For Free
Two Episodes Of MASH Present Joe Wilkinson and Diane Morgan
Tim Vine: Punslinger
Tim Vine is here partners. Riding in on a sandstorm of laughter. All puns blazing. Tell your kinsfolk. You're about to be captured by a posse of jokes. Star of BBC1 Not Going Out' comes back to what he does cotton pickin best.
NB: This is not a show about cowboys; it's just a bloke doing a lot of jokes.
Tim Vine has no shame – and that’s exactly what makes him so funny.
In his apparent desperation for laugh, he will crack the most tenuous puns, sing the cheesiest songs and prance around with the most stupidly elaborate props, immune to any fears he might be abandoning his dignity. Sure, he might be self-deprecating, frequently drawing attention to how ridiculous his whole act is, but embarrassed? Never.
Such unyielding idiocy comes with buckets of eager-to-please puppy-dog charm. He’s putting so much effort into entertaining us – bless – that the effort is endearing in itself. This is why his wordplay, however tortured, rarely gets a groan; we’re all in on the conspiracy of nonsense.
Occasionally he’ll stop proceedings, as the realisation of how foolish he looks suddenly dawns on him. Just what is a grown man doing with a bunch of small breakfast cereal packets gaffer-taped to an umbrella frame? But such self-realisation is only momentary, and the madness quickly resumes.
The more straightforward puns come at such a pace, you don’t have time to sit in judgment. Vine famously held the gag speed record at one point – but even now he’s slowed down a bit, there are more punchlines in one hour than many comics achieve in a lifetime. He must have the memory of an elephant just to remember his set.
It may seem like a triumph of quantity over quality, but that would be to do him a disservice. While a lot of his work does fit a formula, his best gags are more like intricate, ancient puzzles: you’re given the basic information in the set-up, and already know the mechanics of a pun, but you’ll still be stumped as to the solution until he reveals it with a flourish.
These are the audacious jokes that are so offbeat, and so perfectly succinct, that you’ll be aching to tell them yourself later. But don’t try it; there are so many good lines that new ones will perpetually be pushing out the ones you were trying to make a mental note of. In the end, you’ll remember nothing.
In Punslinger, Vine varies the pace a lot, as you need for a gag-packed 60-minute-plus show. He’ll let rip with a machine-gun burst of gags, then maybe commentate on the way the gig’s going for a minute or two, or possibly amble over to his hefty bag of props for a pun in visual form.
There are also lots of snippets of songs here – rather like his spiritual cousin Harry Hill. Vine’s always done them, too, if not quite to this extent, and often these are just pointlessly vacuous, rather than pun-laden. And, of course, they’re all sung in that cornball lounge singe style, the arm pumping in and out like a locomotive’s piston to emphasise every line.
In black and white, it’s hard to describe how all this chintzy old-school gaggery can condense into moments of sublime silliness, but they do. His spoof ventriloquist act, for example, will have you helpless with laughter simply because of the single-minded childishness of it all.
Like so much of his show, it might at first glance seem like cheap end-of-the-pier tat; but the air is so celebratory, so unfashionably uncynical, that you can only be swept along with the spirit of things. Plus, the jokes underpinning this cheery mood are often much better than you’d expect. Resistance to such an onslaught of silliness is futile.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Lost about 3 pints of fluid through tears of laughter, right up my street, brilliant
Absolutely brilliant! A non-stop barrage of silliness.
Puntastic! Quickest hour you'll ever have. Gold Medal for the Pun Marathon.
Groan all the way to the puns, but still an enjoyable hour (better than the dentist anyway)
Yeah, we Scots enjoy a ood pun as well!
No Scottish dates? Gutted!