Keith Dover – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Dover's been a stand-up for more than 15 years, yet his profile remains low. Even his own publicity blurb includes a quote calling him "Britain's best-kept comedy secret", suggesting that it is only fate's fickle finger that has kept him from achieving stardom.

Another straightforward theory for his relative anonymity is, of course, that he's simply shockingly bad.

The main thing to know about this former Dagenham car worker is that he's rabidly reactionary ­ something almost unique in the liberal world of modern stand-up. But there's no earthly reason why the Left should have all the good jokes, and a new comic perspective could give the diversity-loving circuit after a breath of fresh air.

But it doesn't. Because Dover just gets so carried away in his right-wing diatribe that he simply forgets to include any gags.

He rants against the way this country's going to the dogs, how he should have the right to kill burglars or avoid any sort of hassle from the authorities who should be out catching 'real criminals' ­ not VAT-dodgers like him. The man's a walking Daily Mail editorial, with about as many jokes.

He gets some reaction from those who share his views, but it's more claps and shouts of 'too right!' from his few supporters rather than actual laughter. He certainly speaks with passion, but that only adds to the feeling that this is more of a rally speech than a stand-up set.

When disgruntled punters rightly started walking out on him the admittedly rather chi-chi London district of Crouch End, Dover retorted with an angry: "Fuck you. It worked all right in Maidstone last night." Classy.

Whatever he's really like, on-stage, Dover comes across as a poor man's Jim Davidson, but without the low-level racism - an unpleasant, humourless ignorant oaf without even the wit to be a self-parody.

Review date: 1 Apr 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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