Lee Mack

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

For all the clever concepts and big ideas that Edinburgh so rightly encourages, sometimes you want your laughs a lot more straightforward. If so, Lee Mack's your man.

With no gimmick other than a short, cute, introductory film showing how the young Mack got into comedy ­ this is an hour of jokes and stupidity, delivered by one of the most instinctively funny comics since Eric Morecambe.

Or maybe Max Miller's a better comparison. His catchphrase is 'always cheeky, never blue' ­ and it's pretty much true, irony not being the strong point of this most uncynical of stand-ups. Instead we get a barrage of daft one-liners, brilliantly quick-witted banter and silly puns. "Don't groan," he urges. "It's not going to stop me."

With Mack, there's little in the way of chat or structure: the emphasis is always on the next joke, and the joke's often on him. He's certainly not too precious to look a twat for the sake of a laugh. It's utterly unselfconscious and irresistibly charming.

He has bags of sparky energy, and although he plays up the unhinged 'nutter' element of his persona, it's crystal clear that it is just another joke, inviting rather than threatening. Few are immune to such an engaging lively brand of mischievous repartee.

With such universally loveable style, and a looming American TV career, it's something of a surprise he's playing one of the Assembly Room's more modest spaces. But this is a great chance to catch a great comic; seize it while you can.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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