Over many years I’ve seen many comedians live, mostly at Wolverhampton Civic Hall but a few in Birmingham and a couple at Reading (the festival not the shit hole town centre). In the ten, fifteen years or so (it might be longer,) that I’ve casually managed to get tickets to various gigs I’ve always had a good time and always had a good laugh, as you’d expect. Stephen Merchant’s “Hello Ladies” show was no different; his warm up guy, Josh Widdecombe was superb. Good enough for me to wonder, ‘If he’s letting that guy do that stuff he must be good! It’s the old story aint it, you don’t want to follow Elvis Presley at a karaoke party do you? So I suspected it was going to be better than I’d hoped after seeing the warm up. I was wrong, it was better than when I’d hoped it would be better. Merchant seems to have bottled comedy and cynicism and self deprecation without going as far as his mate Gervais with the having a go at cancer, AIDS and famine angle, which I think Gervais gets away with and does very well. The joke about the child throwing the shoe in the soup and the hand gestures “Careful Stephen sounds a bit sexist!” are still making me cry laughing now. I won’t spoil the jokes, go see him live or buy his DVD, I aint here to spoil his fun after all.
His bits about tightness and being prudent shall we say with money I agree with totally, I still laughed, because it was funny, I’m sure when the missus was listening to it she realised that I wasn’t abnormal, even multi millionaires split things 50/50. Good for you Merchant!
His audience participation at the end was fantastic, I was tempted to put my hand up and volunteer but the missus would have killed me, getting a chance to put your hand on Stephen Merchants leg and pretend to be gay might seem funny but it aint worth a bread knife through my chest while I’m sleeping. (Just kidding, she’s lovely really).
Over the years I’ve seen Frank Skinner, David Baddiel, Rob Newman, Dara O’Briain, Michael McIntyre, Bill Bailey, Ben Elton, Lee Evans, Mark Steel, Stewart Lee, Rik Mayall/Ade Edmondson in Bottom the great man himself Ricky Gervais and even Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown live and they were all great and they all made me laugh (although you’d expect that as I chose to go to their gigs), but they didn’t have me howling to every joke, every gesture and every facial expression like Merchant did last night.
Sorry Gervais but your lanky mate trumps your stand up, he’s better. Don’t get me wrong, you’re good; he’s just a bit more good.
Plus it’s all just my opinion and worth fuck all.