Nick Doody: Before He Kills Again

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Nick Doody starts his show behind a keyboard, singing a whimsical little ditty about clowns. We could almost be in Richard Stilgoe, supper cabaret territory.

But once those clowns go on a psychotic killing spree, then masturbate over a sleeping child, the tone for the evening is set ­ as if the show's title wasn't a giveaway already.

Yet that's not quite the real story. Nick Doody can be dark as night, if needs be, when a demonic glint comes to his his eye. But the key to his appeal is a fierce intellect, a challenging outlook and the talent to craft brilliant, original jokes around the biggest of issues.

He has no truck, for example, with fellow comedians who make shallow wisecracks about how George Bush's verbal faux pas make him look dumb. Isn't the fact he's slaughtering thousands as he wages a holy war a tad more important?

This is the essence of Doody's best stuff, that he takes arguments one step further than the received wisdom, even of the liberal left. He's not so universally cynical that he jumps on to the first passing dissident bandwagon, instead he prefers to analyse the situation for himself and come to his own conclusions ­ hence his unique take on the post-7/7 mantras of 'they hate our freedoms' or 'London defiant' from the Government and the media respectively. It comes as no surprise that he was the school smartarse ready with a sarcastic answer to the teachers' standard admonishment: 'Would you do that at home?'

He brings some personal experience to the table. He is the only one in his devoutly Catholic family to have lost the faith, and has first-hand knowledge of puritan Middle America, where his wife ­ or soon-to-be ex-wife ­ was from. That provokes a lengthy contemplation of the importance of drink in British culture, which is perhaps his least interesting material, yet comes to be something of a running theme.

Doody's joke rate suffers because he's so keen to advance a clear, logical argument to back up his points ­ but the gags are usually so excellent when they arrive, he buys more than enough time to set up the next one at his own, measured pace.

He hasn't quite unleashed the righteous rage inside him ­ only bad chavvy clothing, it seems can do that ­ but this is nonetheless a smart, impressive debut by a clever, opinionated man.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Aug 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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