Colin Murphy: Happy In Menace

DVD review by Steve Bennett

Though his appearances on The Panel and The Blame Game have made him a recognisable face in Ireland, it’s probably fair to say not too many people on the other side of the Irish Sea are clamouring for Colin Murphy’s DVD release, expats excepted.

For Murphy is a journeyman, a rock-solid comic sure to get the job done, but unlikely to produce any amazing stand-up pyrotechnics. This show recorded in Cork, is testament to that: perfectly enjoyable, but nothing better than you’d see at most decent comedy clubs.

His opening routine is probably the strongest, when he imagines Jesus as a club comic warming up for the Sermon on the Mount. But largely his métier is everyday observations, rather than such leaps of imagination.

Like a majority of Irish acts, he talks a lot about his nationality and how it defines him: cue the gags about how the Irish don’t match up to the Americans for confidence and drive, or how they never quite got felt at ease with the wealth the economic boom of the Celtic Tiger brought. Murphy just wants a cup of tea, not some swanky Starbucks concoction.

He can spin a yarn – as he does most skillfully with a wry story about an train hitting a horse on the line – and spot an absurdity, such as the naïve American first hearing of an electric blanket, and thinking it an instrument of execution.

But discussions of such topics as the misuse of the word ‘random’, being present at childbirth and subsequently trying to have sex around the house so quietly as not to alert the baby, and the scary technology in Japanese toilets are a little more run-off-mill, even if delivered with the skill of a seasoned old hand.

But his 18 years’ experience pay off most handsomely when he finds a member of the audience with an unlikely story about exporting seaweed, and exploits it with consummate skill.

Main feature: 70 mins
Extras: Blarney Stone (4 mins) doing something few Irishmen do and kissing the famous stone. Outtakes (3 mins); Plan Ireland (5 min charity appeal)
Released by: Universal Pictures, November 16
Price: £19.99. Click here to buy from Amazon for £12.98

Published: 3 Dec 2009

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