Charles Fleischer

Note: This review is from 2001

Review by Steve Bennett

You might have thought that someone basing their entire act on audience banter would actually be able to think of something - anything - funny about maybe even one of the dozen or so people he chatted to.

But not Charles Fleisher. The voice of Roger Rabbit, couldn't come up with the slightest morsel of humour in this painfully unfunny hour.

From the moment he walked on stage, he sucked every last speck energy out of the room. After that, he just sucked.

Putting on an immensely irritating jive voice for most of the show, he proved adept at coming up with rhymes quickly - a trick every improviser knows. But mostly he tried to impress just by using long rhythmic words in his patter. It would have been slightly more impressive if he had used them in something approaching right context.

With zero material to fall back on, he persisted in trying to find some crumbs of comfort in the increasingly despairing crowd. Yet even though they were giving him things he could use - a couple of French students who had trouble with English, a group of musicians and actors - he just pissed away every opportunity for humour.

Occasionally he would slip into one of the silly voices he is famed for, though it always seemed like an act of desperation more than anything else, but he was soon back to that frustrating and grating black jazz-style talk.

As a finale, he continued his aimless ramblings from behind a keyboard, which he bashed with the art of a three-year-old on a Fisher-Price piano.

Then we were allowed to go home. It came as a blessed relief.

Review date: 1 Jan 2001
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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