The Al Pitcher Experience

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Al Pitcher undersells himself, he's so much more than a three-legged retarded Labrador. He's certainly not retarded, but he may well have attention deficit disorder; that's the best rationalisation I can come up with for his breathtaking ability to shift in half a sentence or less from topic to unrelated topic. The effect is a real headspin, and you reach a point where you crave a routine that's at least a couple of minutes long just catch your breath. That's not a criticism, more a health warning, as this show just romped along.

It will clearly be very different every night, as Al's style is to get to know a large number of his audience, if not by name then by some defining quirk. He had the ability to connect with everyone and this involvement is neither threatening nor patronising, you could almost feel people bask in the attention from the big friendly bloke. He's a highly prized compere and he used his abilities to great advantage to bring everyone onside, even by distributing extra seating.

It's difficult to comment on a show that will by definition change completely according to its audience. There are a few routines as back up, just to mark where he is in the show and so that it's not entirely off the cuff, bits about Jesus's stand-up, an old lady falling over, football crowds, Bono and urinal paranoia, but the show really takes flight with his inventive riffing on themes from the audience. What's so good is it doesn't takes a surreal turn into nonsense, which is what I've seen happen with less skilled improvising comics, it's completely grounded in the here and now.

He is not as scattershot as first appears and some of the half sentences or glancing references get turned into excellent callbacks, not in a flamboyant way, just making the point that this more controlled that you might think.

Julia Chamberlain


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

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.