Kevin Hayes – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

As a broadly topical comic, Kevin Hayes is neither as instantly up-to-the-minute, nor as searingly insightful as the best of his contemporaries. Instead, he offers a more general commentary on the big topics of the day, from the point of view you would expect of a libertarian comedian: religion is bad, booze is good, and patriotism futile, at best.

He talks engagingly around the topics in a light, accessible way – not always laugh-a-minute hilarious, but making fine points and offering good company. At his best, he encapsulates his opinions in a succinct anecdote, such as recalling the admonishment he receive for not standing during the national anthem of his native Ireland – and his hard-to-dispute comeback.

At other times, though, he’s less distinctive. In the wake of the Muslim boycott of Danish goods prompted by the Mohammed cartoon furore, many comics noted that exports of bacon and lager were unlikely to be hit hard; but Hayes is still doing this line months later, even though its life must surely have ended once it appeared on every topical comedy show on TV and radio.

Material-wise, then, a mixed bag, but weighed heavily against that is Hayes’ assured, relaxed delivery. He’s an experienced stand-up, with an easy banter that keeps the feistier members at bay with charm rather than confrontation, while still engaging with the rest of us, It’s this that ensures an entertaining set – even if it’s not always as sharp as it could be.

Review date: 18 Feb 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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