Archie Kelly – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Archie Kelly – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

Teacher-turned-stand-up Kelly is a comedian most decidedly in the old tradition of northern clubs - offering a joke, an impression and a song. All that's missing is the meat raffle.

But he also has some of the sensibilities of the new: writing his own material rather than relying on stock pub gags, and avoiding the unpleasant stereotypes of the past.

He's got plenty of talent in his armory, too: a great singing voice, a knack for impersonation and an endearing stage manner.

But he puts it all to very predictable use in a set that any seasoned comedy-goer would find somewhat stale as it never gets any more imaginative than "Imagine the big speech from Gladiator performed by Bruce Forsyth!"

Add some stock putdowns, and the fact he's the umpteenth comic to do a song about 'The Taliban Can" to the tune of "The Candy Man Can", and that's the extent of his ambition.

It goes down incredibly well, though, with whoops and cheers for simply launching into a Joe Pesci impersonation. If that's all that's required, who can blame him for not delving into more interesting territory? I might have been unmoved by the material, but I was certainly in a minority. Possibly a minority of one.

Review date: 30 Sep 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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