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Garrett Millerick: Sensible Answers to Stupid Questions

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

A few years ago, Garrett Millerick – who’d always dreamed of being a film-maker – got within sniffing distance of his ambition. At the final panel interview to discuss UK Film Council funding, some Nathan Barley type brushed aside the pitch Millerick had spent months polishing and said: ‘I want to get a sense of you as a storyteller. Tell me a story.’

He didn’t get the grant.

Which only proves how clueless some arts administrators are; for storytelling is clearly in Millerick’s genome.

The ‘stupid questions’ theme of the show is something of a red herring; though he tethers each anecdote to it just securely enough to feel like it’s a plan.  The idea mainly seems like a misplaced revenge on an ex-girlfriend who used to drive him insane with her incessant queries.  When he recounts this, he admits ‘I’m a bit of a prick’ – but the viciousness with which he savages his former paramour seems overdone, even if she did ask some decidedly daft things.

His tales work out better when that prickiness manifests itself, so there’s some level of self-deprecation to his jokes. The cornerstone routine here is the  hugely embarrassing incident, involving various unpleasant bodily emissions, which so failed to impress that witless Film Council wonk. Yet it’s quite a memorable image.

There are also some funny stories about his misadventures in internet dating, while descriptions of the sociopaths and misfits who pass for teachers in boys’ boarding schools that certainly ring true – especially as he acts out these grotesques so impressively.

Millerick is new to stand-up, but not to performing, and he knows how to sell a story hard, with his booming confidence and haughty mocking tone elevating moderately amusing anecdotes into much sturdier routines. Comedy comes either from his near-sarcastic knowingness, or his compulsion to provoke: Exhibit A is his iconoclastic routine attacking those who cling to science rather than religion. Take that, Brian Cox.

There’s not quite the killer routine or stand-out joke here that would elevate this into a heartily recommended show, but it’s certainly a solidly enjoyable way to see out the midnight hour.

Review date: 3 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Underbelly Bristo Square

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