Jeff Green: Personal

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett


Jeff Green's charismatic and charming, knows how to spin a descriptive yarn and can, when called for, come up with lovely punchlines. But his choice of weary old subject matter makes it difficult to maintain any degree of interest in what he's got to say.

Don't smoke dope before you try to put a tent up; women always try to steal things from hotel rooms; chat-up lines; job interview lies; insidious debt consolidation adverts; violent Glasgow ­ it's hardly an exciting catalogue to incite intrigue.

But he can create great lines on even the most dog-eared of subjects; he gives the Scots a quotable putdown to the age-old question 'What do you wear under your kilt,' for instance, and has a nice take on America's 'have a nice day' platitudes. These could be taught as masterclasses in gag construction.

It's to his credit that he can create such new angles from such old reference points, but the dated set-ups are often such a turn-off they engulf the wit of the payoff. When he tries something even slightly different, such as his first-hand experiences at an ante-natal class, things pick up immeasurably.

His audience don't seem to care about the familiarity of the topics, mind you, in fact they positively embrace their comfort. And he's so loved by them that even a slightly apt adjective will trigger uncontrollable titters from his fans, so when a real joke emerges, the crowd erupts.

You can see the appeal in his engaging, low-key delivery, and he's blessed with great timing. Green's a real charmer who shows a cheeky streak of blue when it comes to talking about sex, which he mimes out with skilful physicality.

But there's nothing to take offence at here, or in the rest of the set, save for the overwhelming blandness of the subject matter.

Steve Bennett


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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