Jay Sodagar – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2002

Review by Steve Bennett

Sodagar's opening gambit ("Don't worry, no one ordered a cab - and, yes, I do speak English") is an uncomfortable one.

Not so much that it's based on a false stereotype of Asians, but because it's based on a false stereotype of the white people in the audience - isn't it more than slightly offensive that he believes we think this way? Those morons who do would probably laugh at having their preconceptions confirmed, but for everyone else he seems to be tilting at an insulting thought we never had in the first place.

That aside, though, the rest of Sodagar's act is a mixture of observational and vaguely political humour.

In the former, the balance is tipped too heavily towards the observation aspect, rather than the comedy, and the latter is too woolly to really pack a punch.

Though there are valid points and some halfway decent lines, Sodagar needs to take a hefty cleaver to trim the fat and bring the punchlines much closer together. Asides, and admittedly that's all they are, like "I'm a lefty, but I don' like this New Labour lot, they're wankers", are neither incisive nor funny, and serve only to slow the pace.

Gags also need to raise the stakes a bit more, too, with pay-off lines often little more than the equivalent of a raised eyebrow at some observed stupidity rather than anything more penetrating.

There are some good ideas at the heart of this, but they need a lot more developing.

Review date: 1 Oct 2002
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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