Dave Fulton: We're All Americans

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

While researching this show, Dave Fulton tapped the phrase ‘George Bush jokes’ into Google, and got 1.7million pages. That might have given him a clue that this is an overworked subject.

But oh no. This goes over pretty much the same material we’ve been hearing for the past five years. That Dubya is an idiot we all know, and just reading out some of the dumbass things he’s said from many of the countless ‘humour books on the subject is hardly advancing the cause.

You can’t complain that Fulton’s heart isn’t in the  right place. As a typical beer-swilling, working-class man from Idaho who had the wherewithal to realise there’s a whole world outside America’s borders, who would know better that the States is hated for its actions than Fulton.

‘America’s fault is giving answers when it should be asking questions,’ he says in a rare moment of sage insight.

For a man preaching more understanding, his jokes tend to revolve around quite broad stereotypes. What was the affect on the coalition in Iraq when Spain withdrew? No paella. Hmm. He also suggests Colin Powell should act like an urban gangsta (cos he’s black, you see) and Condoleeza Rice to be more like blaxploitation star Pam Grier (same reason).

Fulton’s a likeable stage presence, if prone to digression to such an extent that he conducted a lengthy chat with a punter who knew his home town about the various neighbourhoods, unaware there was a comedy show to be performed. In fact, the whole hour seemed much more like genial chat than well  considered  show.

But for a supposedly political comedian, he barely scratches the surface, instead relying on bland observations and obvious jokes. Some more interesting areas are touched upon, such as Australia and America’s treatment of their indigenous people, but they are quickly dismissed.

The only routine that genuinely comes with some passion is the hefty Medicare bill his family was landed with after the death of  his mother for which he blames the drug industry.

But mostly he’s peddling a brand of weak, grumbling protest. It may go down as more controversial in his homeland, where staunch pro-Bush feelings run high in some places, but as he works in the UK’s increasingly political comedy scene, he should be aware that the stakes have been raised, and he ought to be bringing more to the table than a list of George Bush’s stupid comments.

Review date: 1 Jan 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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