Kevin Meaney – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Kevin Meaney – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

When visiting Ireland, Meaney came across as the crassest type of American comic, hardly endearing himself to the audience by getting the name of the town he was playing wrong, then demanding they applaud the fact he was a father - after he didn’t receiving the response he’s come to expect from American audiences who get excited by that sort of thing.

When one of many lines died flat on it’s face, his only response was: ‘That’s a big laugh in the States,’ as if it’s purely transatlantic differences that stop his dismally weak routine being received by gales of hilarity.

He continually played his repeated faux pas with this sort of  aloofness, entirely out of keeping with what his act sets out to be: that of a very old-school entertainer.

He’s the sort of fake-smile act who doesn’t feel he’s given a show unless he ends with some Broadway song-and-dance number. Unfortunately, after a poor 20 minutes he winds up trilling away: ‘I’m dying and I don’t care’ with the air of someone who’s had to use this ending just a few times too often.

For the truth is, his set is simple lacklustre. It has its moments, with some astute homespun observations, especially about his mother’s fretful obsession that ‘we’re going to lose the house’ with every minor domestic strife.

But that’s a rarity. Elsewhere, he oh-so-cleverly changes the words of the song Venus to Penis (you see, because the words sound similar – really, it’d put Oscar Wilde to shame). Other topical references (well, they might have been in the early Fifties) include impersonating Johnny Mathis and Ethyl Merman in an extended singalong.

In fact, huge parts of his act simply aren’t comedy, but more karaoke, as he sings a duet with the tape-recorded voice of Frank Sinatra. In full, with choreography.

Meaney’s act feels as if he would be more at home entertaining pensioners in the decaying Catskill resorts than performing at an international comedy festival, and it’s probably best if he stays that way.

Review date: 22 Jun 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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