Chris Radburn: The Warm-Up Guy
Show type: Melbourne 2007
Chris Radburn has to warm up the audience before the TV Show Jimmy Allen Live. However, what happens when there are technical difficulties and he has to fill an hour until recording starts? What will he resort to?
Odd concept for a show, this. Chris Radburn pretends heís doing the warm-up for a TV programme andÖ well, thatís it. Itís not a clever dramatic device, he just does bits of stand-up and banter as you might expect at a free studio recording, but charges $18 for it and calls it a show.
The clue might come when he explains that a warm-up guyís brief is not to be too funny as that would risk upstaging the real star. And Radburn is never in danger of that, simply trotting though a largely familiar comedy landscape.
Every so often heíll get the audience to practice applause, whooping or hand-waving, which appears suspiciously like an attempt to shore up the unremarkable material. But itís doomed to failure when, as on this night, there are just six people in the audience Ė seven if you count the drunk who wandered in for five minutes and tried to steal the limelight.
Radburn remains unfazed with the tiny turnout, and ploughs through his instantly forgettable material with confidence and good humour.
But no individual personality shines through as he ticks every box in the Stand-Up For Dummies handbook. Any comic who does gags about Baby On Board signs in this day and age deserves to have their artistic licence revoked.
Perhaps this is audition piece, a blatant showcase for any TV execs passing through the festival who may be have lucrative warm-up work to hand out. It certainly appears itís a job he could do Ė but whether heís a comic with enough to say that itís worth an hour listening to himÖ well, thatís a different prospect altogether.
Reviewed by:Steve Bennett
Melbourne, April 2007