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Back And To The Left In The Turkish Prison
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Benny Boot: Def-Con 4
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Bus-ting To Laugh
Benny Boot: Def-Con 4
After Benny Boot's successful 2011 Edinburgh debut, Boot brings a new hour of fresh brand new jokes. Considered by many as one of the best joke writers in the business and as having some of the most memorable jokes. Benny Boot, with his unconventional comedic delivery, tries to find the perfect combination of one-liners, observations, non sequitur statements and beautiful gags to reach a level of what athletes call 'in the zone' or 'on fire', where, once reached, theoretically you would be able to say anything and the audience would lose their minds.
Benny Boot: Fringe 2012
Benny Boot is a quirky, original and droll gag-writer, so it’s something of an anticlimax that this hour never quite builds up enough momentum to make the most of them.
Wrapping himself around the microphone stand and delivering a lazy, strangulated Australian drawl, he projects the image of a strange otherworldly philosopher, reducing human behaviour to eccentric one-liners.
Many of his best lines have a similar twisted logic to Stephen Wright’s fines. He applies perverse lateral thinking to contrived problems that don’t really exist – then reverse-engineers them into jokes that baffle logic. Then add a topper or two, and you have a well-packaged morsel of oddness.
But this is a very stop-start approach for a full show – and as he admits at the start: ‘I just do jokes and sometimes jokes do not work. They die.’
It’s true. He has a few that just don’t shine, and after every one, it’s as if Boot is back to the start, having to re-establish his comic credentials again.
There are a couple of attempts to break the pattern: a surreal new take on rock-scissors-paper, a bit of audience participation about favourite animals (just as a preamble for one bit); and, to end, a guitar track – a soporific strumming to underpin the jokes reminiscent of Demetri Martin.
Mostly, though, the gags are left to stand or fall on their own two feet, and mostly prosper. Sometimes they have their grounding in something real and relatable, but then take an unusual turn; other times they are just odd from the get-go. Eccentric gems include considering fire extinguishers to be doing jobs of work, planning his own funeral surprise, or describing the consequences of killing a spider with the first aerosol to hand.
Distilled down, these are a certain kind of warped genius – it’s just unfortunate that collectively, and mixed with jus a smattering of less successful jokes – they don’t amount to more.
|Date of live review: Sunday 5th Aug, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
First rule of stand up that the audience must like you? Maybe if ya read Michael Mcintyre's lawbook it is.
Maybe Sunday (12th) was not a typo al show but it was really poor. We saw 3 shows on Sunday and enjoyed the two free ones much more than Benny's. It seemed to me that he broke the first rule of stand up in that the audience really need to like you and be on your side and I didn't think he did anything at all to set this feeling up. The atmosphere in the room was genuinely uncomfortable a couple of times as people were shocked at how banal this was. I understand from the other reviews that Boot is supposed to take you into a journey into the surreal, but this did not happen at all. Hopefully this was just a bad day at the office for Boot, but I think that three stars from chortle is very very generous
I absolutely loved this show. He reminds me of a new-age Mitch Hedberg crossed with a drunken Milton Jones. I was laughing throughout. I love his style and so happy that someone has the balls to do jokes and not long winded storied with a happy ending. A definite MUST SEE for anyone - ignore the review!
Absolutely brilliant show, had me squeeking with laughter.