Jeremy Hotz: What A Miserable Tour This Is

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

If you’ve ever seen Jeremy Hotz, you’ll instantly remember him from his trademark affectations: either the fist perched on the corner of his mouth, trying vainly to stifle his own laughter, or the hand coyly covering his right eye in restrained exasperation.

They may be annoying, forced tics, but they certainly make him memorable. They also help project an image of a meek man building up the nerve to point out what’s wrong with life, not by ranting but by polite protest, nervous giggles giving away his lack of backbone.

It’s the Canadian national character, not to want to make too much of a fuss, even if you are a weary, curmudgeonly outsider, middle-aged and single, and perpetually disappointed and irritated at a world that doesn’t work right. A shrug and the ineffectual snigger is all Hotz has against these slings and arrows.

This show – being recorded for Canadian TV so presented in front of cluttered set of urban decay – sees him looser than before, relaxed enough to banter freely with the audience. For a highly-stylised comedian, he’s very good at it too, with quick-witted, tangential responses he builds into effective running jokes, weaving effortlessly in and out of his own material.

Talking of which, the prepared content here is decidedly inconsistent. He starts with some easy pandering to the Montreal crowd that extends little more than moans about the one-way system and ‘what’s the deal with the cones in the road?’, takes easy shots at American arrogance and ponders ‘what if women had balls or men had periods,’ which is fine, but so generic it could have been done by almost any other comic at the festival.

He’s better at discussing his own mystery ailments, material which suits the grumpy middle-aged man persona, including the third prostate examination routine I’d heard in one night; though Hotz’s was arguably the best. And silly observations about goldfish and the Mayflower pilgrims are witty and offbeat.

But the sardonic best seems diluted to fill a DVD’s running time, with the extra audience interaction and weaker, less challenging material, more easily accessible for the average couch-potato. Hotz always seems on the verge of greatness, but yet again hasn’t made the leap.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Montreal, July 2008

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
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.