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Maff Brown: Pacman is Actually Allergic to Ghosts

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Julia Chamberlain

Maff Brown is a blokey bloke, smart suited, newly barbered to a spiky style, with a friendly, affable, joshing style that makes him the go-to guy for TV warm-up and compering up and down the country.

He quickly makes friends in the front row, if making friends is embarrassing a 17-year-old boy in front of his parents. His intention, according to the puff is ‘Just stand up. Jokes and funnies… stuff that will make you laugh’. Brown has put himself under a lot of pressure, writing a new set every week for his London club, and if Frank Skinner calls you a ‘material machine’ that’s a lot to live up to. He is clearly prolific, lots of quips, but much of it is a bit low-rent and familiar, and surprisingly coarse for the time of day.

It’s probably wrong of me to try to guess intentions, but here goes anyway. It seems he’s getting out a lot of material by ‘burning’ it in an Edinburgh show, presumably to clear the way for writing up to the next level, but here you’ll find dogs and cats, cowardly French (Really? Surely that’s a stereotype his grandparents might have appreciated, but now?), lots of pooh, blow jobs, wanking on a bus, fingering, sexual enhancements (male, female), being mugged by a posh bloke, the stupidity of Argos staff.

It’s simple stuff he could do any weekend in any club and an unusual offering as an Edinburgh show. He wraps up with a string of quickfire one-liners over music, including the titular Pacman line, which I still don’t get, They are of such variable quality, if delivered with panache, that it draws attention to the discrepancy between his skilled delivery and shonky content. Brown has bags of potential, but he sells himself short here.

Review date: 12 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain

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