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Carlsberg Comedy Carnival 2009
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Chortle Student Comic Final 2004
Chris Addison [Brighton Fringe 2008]
Chris Brooker: Unstoppable
Chris Neill: Bearded Wonder
City Life Comedian Of The Year Final 2005
City Life Comedian Of The Year final 2006
City Life Comedian Of The Year Final 2007
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City Life Final Comedian Of The Year 2001
The Comedy Store Players
Comedy Store's 30th Anniversary Charity Gala
Crimes Against Humanities Teachers
A comedy performance at the Hackney Empire to say thank you to retiring Time Out Comedy Editor Malcolm Hay.
Original Review:It is hard to imagine any other critic being awarded their own farewell show, but Time Out magazine’s comedy editor Malcolm Hay, pictured, occupies a unique position. His lengthy tenure at the magazine helped shape the London comedy circuit, and, by extension the rest of the UK’s thriving and mutable scene.
Tonight’s celebration, was pulled together by the ‘very experienced’ (Malcolm’s adjectives having long become an affectionate in-joke among comics) Ivor Dembina, and offered a cheerful set of comedy samples from the last 20 odd years.
It would be almost rude to ask anyone other than Arthur Smith to MC such a night, so the gravel-voiced one stepped up to the mark in thready shorts and teacher’s jacket, with equally well-worn material. There would possibly be questions asked in the House if he didn’t mention his signing-on days, and tonight was not the time to introduce new routines, so managing to sound relaxed and slightly irritable at the same time he introduced ‘lively’ Omid Djalili.
Omid is all about performance, and he tactfully lit the blue touchpaper, getting us off to a good start, without tearing the arse out of the gig, leaving nothing for anyone else. Starting off with his Iranian shtick, he managed to touch on the hanging of Saddam Hussein without making it distasteful.
His joy at bad puns and knock-knock jokes would would be childish in less capable hands, but acknowledging a corny joke with a burst of song just charmed the audience. Gliding from accent to accent, Omid got mileage out of standards like the Nigerian traffic warden, but with a refreshing change of direction. He made the audience laugh and unwind and set a warm tone for the first half.
Up next, Josie Long made gaucheness and naïvity into positive attributes. She still has the aura of a 15-year-old class eccentric, talking about a crisis of confidence, learning to love your weaknesses and playing battleships.
Her declared aim of being honest rather than concise and funny might make you fear for the comedy, but it was definitely there. You don’t get clobbered into submission with Josie, she spins the humour from her own vulnerability, with several false exits and triumphant emphases (sounding oddly like Daniel Kitson) seeming to signal the end of her set. Her awkwardness was offset by a very genuine joie de vivre and unshowy intelligence.
Scott Capurro, who Arthur Smith called ‘the epitome of waspishness’, lived up to his epithet like a hornet at picnic. His dark and sexual material caused a few backs to straighten and some nervous tittering. Sweeping across Catholicism, fancying the crucified Christ as masturbation aid, a ‘hot Jew on a stick’, British anti-Semitism, war-mongering and the Chinese, he could not have been any more determined to shake up the cuddly atmosphere.
His glee at putting the boot into political correctness made for some uncomfortable moments, redeemed by a splendid double-edged joke about Chinese women drivers where you couldn’t choose which part to be more offended by. His phrase ‘I can say this’ allowed him to be spectacularly offensive. How wonderful for him that his sexuality grants permission to go to town on his own prejudices.
His piece on his reading of the Koran drew some shocked laughter. However, his smooth delivery and sheer delight in playing the bad guy, and the fact that this all done in the name of comedy, just about kept the crowd with him. You know the material’s pungent when other comics say ‘he doesn’t need to be so offensive!’
The second half of the show moved up a gear with a succinct set of splendid comedy songs from ‘hugely entertaining’ Mitch Benn. He covered murdering James Blunt (nods of approval), ‘I Want An African Baby’ which he acknowledged was satirical seven months ago and knocked off a single-use-only song in praise of the Time Out critic.
The great thing about Mitch Benn is that his music enhances the comedy rather than replacing it as so often happens with other musical acts. He’s as skilled musically as he is lyrically. James Blunt would probably like to murder him.
The high point of the evening now, Mark Thomas took 23 minutes to tell an anecdote about repeatedly applying for permission to demonstrate from the indefatigable Sergeant Paul McAnally from Charing Cross police station. The recounting of an accumulation of events, from a one-man protest, to mixing it with 80 anarchists and 800 police outside Parliament and gaining the protection of the officer in charge cannot be done justice here; it was a wonderful piece of storytelling, full of vitality and variety with deftly sketched characters that brought the house down.
There was only one man to follow that kind of performance, and that was Al Murray’s Pub Landlord. With an audience primed to join in with a call and response routine, something that would strike fear into most contemporary comics, it was clear that the Guv’nor’s purpose was to lead us into familiar jingoistic territory.
What keeps this character exciting and entertaining is the light and shade in the performance. While the roaring, puffing, snorting, twitching landlord seemed almost on the point of emotional disintegration, the calmer dissection of the lives of the sacrificial lambs in the front row evokes references from Oedipus to the ‘youth of today’ being too daft to lie about their age in a pub. Rounding off the night with a demented rendition of Incy Wincy Spider as an anthem to British pluck and determination, Al Murray bludgeoned the audience into timid participation.
As leaving bashes go, Malcolm Hay’s had a wonderful, if telescoped, view of 20 years of comedy and the event succeeded in being warm without bogus sentimentality.
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
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Omid Djalili: No Agenda
Al Murray The Pub Landlord: Barrel Of Fun
Al Murray: Giving It Both Barrels
Al Murray: The Pub Landlord’s Beautiful British Tour
Al Murray: Who Dares Wines
Mark Thomas Live: Serious Organised Criminal
Mark Thomas: As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela...
Mark Thomas: Belching Out The Devil
Mark Thomas: Bravo Figaro
Mitch Benn & The Distractions: Sing Like An Angel
Mitch Benn And The Distractions 2007 tour
Mitch Benn and the Distractions: The Where Next Tour
Mitch Benn: Rhyme Lord
Omid Djalili 2008 tour
Omid Djalili: Tour Of Duty
Scott Capurro Opens Up
Dirty Book Club
Josie Long: Kindness and Exuberance
Scott Capurro: Yankee Dog Pig
The Book Club
The World Stands Up Live
Big Value Comedy Show Late
Loaded by Scott Capurro
Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music
Mitch Benn and The Distractions
Omid Djalili at the Queen's Hall
Omid Djalili: Behind Enemy Lines Perrier nominee
The Marx Brothers' Animal Crackers
The Stonewall Gala
Fucking Our Fathers
Mark Thomas: Dambusters and Tales of Dissent
The Comedy Clone
A Seriously Funny Attempt To Get The SFO in The Dock
BBC London Children in Need benefit
Book Club At The British Library
Ha Ha Hammersmith II
Leicester Comedy Festival Preview Show 2009
Mark Thomas: The Manifesto
Mark Thomas: Walking The Wall – Extreme Rambling
Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People
Robin Ince's Christmas Book Club 2006
School For Gifted Children
Scott Capurro's Position
Secret Policeman's Ball 2006
Stand Up Get Down
Twitter Comedy Night
Big Fat Gypsy Gangster
Josie Long: Trying Is Good
Mitch Benn's Music Club
Stand Up For Animals
Josie Long And Special Guests Mucking About
Josie Long: All Of The Planet’s Wonders (Shown In Detail)
Omid Djalili: Live 2008
Scott Capurro Goes Deeper
This Show Belongs To Lionel Richie No 3: Up Arthurs Seat
Al Murray The Pub Landlord
Al Murray The Pub Landlord: Compete For The Meat
Josie Long's Monsters Of Whimsy
Josie Long: Be Honourable!
Al Murray's Compete For The Meat
Al Murray's Compete For The Meat Late Night Special
Get Up, Stand Up! Gala
Josie Long: The Future Is Another Place
Mark Thomas: Extreme Rambling (Walking the Wall) [Edinburgh 2011]
Omid Djalili: Work in Progress
Scott Capurro's Position 
Who Are The Jocks?
Al Murray The Pub Landlord: The Guv’s Olympic Pub Quiz
Al Murray: The Only Way is Epic
Josie Long and Sam Schäfer's Awkward Romance
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure
Mitch Benn: Reduced Circumstances
This Arthur's Seat Gala Belongs To Lionel Richie
Al Murray: The Only Way Is Epic [Edinburgh 2013]
Al Murray: The Pub Landlord's Compete for The Haggis Independence Special!
The Distraction Club
Mark Thomas: 100 Acts of Minor Dissent
Mitch Benn Is the 37th Beatle
Omid Djalili Live [Fringe 2013]
Scott Capurro: Islamohomophobia