Paul Chowdhry – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Paul Chowdhry – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Paul Chowdhry has a dry, deadpan delivery that tends make the audience feel slightly uncomfortable, unsure of what’s going on beneath his inscrutable façade.

He seems to revel in their awkwardness, too, making little effort to put them at their ease. Indeed, when he does get onto anything like a roll, he quickly diffuses the momentum with some purposefully stilted banter or a none-too-subtle glance at his watch, as he prays for his time to be up.

But although the approach is frigid, many of the laughs come from that proven staple of many a more showy performer: the silly voice, whether he be mocking the street slang of urban white kids or the chillingly portentous voice from the Saw horror movies.

As well as the disdainful sneers towards youth culture, Chowdhry likes to be playful with racial stereotypes. Some of this plays unimaginatively on the racist premise that because he’s brown, he must be a potential suicide bomber – but other routines involve more thoughtfulness.

His best lines, though, are when he kicks against the boundaries of acceptability. Given that he’s an act who couldn’t care less whether he’s liked or not, he can be fearless – or possibly reckless – in his putdowns and sneery asides, displaying a savage wit that can hit hard.

Between these decidedly questionable jibes, the exaggerated accents and derisive chav mocking, there’s something for every taste in Chowdhry’s routine. But it also means; there’s no gag in his set that you could say is a pure Chowdhry line, meaning he’s defined more by that aloof demeanour than he is by distinctive comic writing

Review date: 10 Mar 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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