Nathan Stokes – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Newcomer Nathan Stokes can string a sentence together and is confident speaking in public, so he meets the minimum requirements for a comedian – but little more.

There’s no killer instinct to find the punchline, instead he just chats away as if his set were an ordinary conversation rather than a professional honed act.

Yes, posing as an immovable statue for street entertainment is an odd way to solicit money – but as a comedian, you need to go further than that banal observation for it to be funny.

And when he does come up with a genuine gag – as he does about Colonel Gadaafi – he milks it for far more than the simple joke is worth, desperately stretching out the material. Jimmy Carr has a gag in which all the meaning of the punchline ‘They’re like buses’ is revealed in a sardonic tone of voice. In his version of the very same line, Stokes has to spell out it out, leaving the audience to make no leap of thought, which is crucial to any joke.

Occasionally, a harsh line of nastiness appears in lieu of a punchline, which could at least get a shock reaction when it works – but poisons the atmosphere if it doesn’t.

A lot more work on his material is definitely needed if he’s to succeed.

Review date: 30 May 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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