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Pete Johansson: Pete's On Earth

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Nione Meakin

Shortlisted for best newcomer in last year's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, affable Canadian Pete Johansson turns in a satisfying, if slightly lacklustre, hour for 2010.

Hinging on his travels across the world and attempts to get to grips with different cultures, the premise offers plenty of scope for the wonderfully deadpan observation he does so well. Now a proud resident of London (or, as he likes to call it for comedy foreigner effect, 'Lon-don'), he nevertheless has a few gripes with his adopted city, not least its overpopulation and decision to erect a massive Ferris wheel in place of improvements to the infrastructure.

Still, these things pale in comparison to America's perceived failings, a country whose hardcore entry system he throws into hilarious relief through comparison with Canada's.

Attacking creationists, however, is rapidly turning into the left-wing equivalent of the mother-in-law joke and it's a little disappointing to hear yet another comic getting cheers for making the same point, however amusingly he makes it.

Elsewhere, Johansson has some great anecdotes about an intimate massage gone horribly wrong, playing Pictionary with his wife's Japanese father and performing for American troops in a war zone, an experience that's left him with some rather comical merchandise to shift.

There's no disputing this is a solid show, with some lovely throwaway phrases and engaging storytelling, but there's nothing really memorable about it.

The stifling heat of the venue and Johansson's exhausting hike up Arthur's Seat the previous day no doubt contributed to the somewhat underwhelming experience; when your laughs rely on the telling of the material rather than its content, flagging energy levels are a killer.

No doubt this won't be the case for the rest of the run though, in which case, Johansson is certainly worth a punt.

Review date: 10 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

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