Brendan Naughton

Brendan Naughton

Brendan Naughton – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Brendan Naughton is a lively- to-the-point-of-intimidating, comedian, ranting and furiously at countless irritations; yet he barely scratches the surface of most of the betes noires that so rile him.

Target one in his firing line, for instance, are traffic wardens, about whom he spits corrosive bile. But the upshot of all the bluster is that they are little Nazis, and while passionate, the point is hardly original, and the way he expresses it not especially witty. He even sings an awkwardly scanning song to that effect, which has the audience shouting Seig Heil and doing Hitler salutes… or rather it would if people weren’t understandably reluctant to join in.

His Irish upbringing as a self-confessed pikie influences a lot of the set, from why he wound up in England to the long shadow Catholicism casts over life. But again this boils down to ‘Isn’t it daft to worship a man nailed to a stick?’

Very occasionally there’s a nice line amid the bombast, but it struggles to get heard. The Jesus rant, for example contains a smart gag about Christianity frowning on masturbation that the great, if largely forgotten, John Dowie did, and did much better – though that reference is so obscure Naughton must have come up with it on his own.

That indicates he is capable of more than most his set currently entails; tending too readily towards the sort of knee-jerk, ill-thought-through complaints of your average cab driver, rather than the searing precision of the best comedians.

Naughton also doesn’t seem to read a room well; when his set struggled, he ploughed deeper into it, impervious to the growing feeling that he’d overstayed his welcome, embarking on various fresh diatribes to increasingly deaf ears.

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Published: 5 May 2009

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