Andy Parsons: Genocide, Suicide, Cancer (and other

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

Andy Parsons admits to second thoughts about calling his show Genocide, Suicide, Cancer. It is, he considers, hardly a title that screams ‘comedy’.

There’s no real reason to think that way; comedy is often best when tied to misery – and Parsons is one of the best people to exploit that link. And true to his promise, he does cover the three wince-making headline topics as part of his distinctive commentary on the news of the past year – and plenty more besides.

His style is very simple: he presents us with, say, a government policy, then with a disarming ‘now I don’t know about you…’  rips a gaping hole right at the heart of it. Identity cards, religion, immigration  - any political hot potato you’d care to mention, and Parsons has a concise, astute and very funny way of cutting right through the crap.  The results are often hilarious, backing up his ideas with rock-solid gags.

Away from the politics and into the social observations, Parsons’ philosophy is that Britain is a bit rubbish, and its inhabitants quite like it that way unlike, say, the annoyingly overoptimistic Americans. It’s not the most original or positions, but Parsons again brings originality and wit to the subject – spoiling it, in fact, by being a long way from ‘a bit rubbish’ himself.

Surprisingly, perhaps, given the strength of this high-concept material, Parsons actually proves even better when talking about himself; and most notably when he talks about a delicate medical procedure on an even more delicate part of his anatomy. Well, the title did promise things to make you wince, and this certainly does that.

But the seriousness of the situation is defused by his spot-on humour, the very thing that makes his best news-based material stand out, too. In straighforward gag-based topical comedy, he sets the bar for others to beat.

Review date: 1 Jan 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

Today's comedy-on demand picks

NICK HELM: ALL KILLER SOME FILLER

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.