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

What do you think?

Today's comedy-on demand picks


This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

Click for more suggestions

... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.