Look at that. A declaration to make this site a bit more interesting, and then nothing happens for a week.
I'm going down to London tomorrow afternoon, if the train doesn't kill me first, and will be spending the weekend running around meeting comedians for the good of Comedy Lounge.
In the meantime, all I can offer is the following. I went to a comedy gig earlier this week, and reviewed it for the Edinburgh Evening News. For reasons that still haven't been explained to me, it wasn't published, so I'm reproducing it here.
LEE MACK, The Stand, FIVE STARS
29 October 2002
Judging by his enthusiastic performance, you would never know that fresh-faced, Lee Mack was in the middle of a UK tour. He started by throwing himself to the ground to illustrate various points, from how well he thought the gig was going to how boring an audience member’s job is. He went on to helpfully explain variations of English slang to an American member of the audience (“You say ‘faucet’. We say, ‘leave it alone you’ll break it.’”) And in between all that, he presented some of the best stand up comedy currently to be found on the UK live circuit.
His talents have been brought to a wider audience through ITV1’s The Sketch Show. Watching him live, it is obvious why he has also been chosen to take part in this year’s Royal Variety Performance, something he is quick to tell the audience. He is also proud to have recently appeared with Des O’Connor. Judging from this kind of CV, it would be very easy to label him as a light entertainment performer, but that would be distancing him from his true strengths as a stand up comedian. His act contains many affection nods to older, more traditional performers like Les Dawson and Eric Morecambe. Indeed, he has been previous compared to Morecambe, who he is not afraid to morph into when wearing another audience member’s glasses. However, his outlook on stage is very fresh, and very much his own.
He leaps from one topic to another as the ideas occur to him, or come up during one of his regular chats to members of the audience. Far from needing to crow-bar material in around forced observations, he allows his thoughts to flow freely, and runs with them as they occur. At one point during a routine about Tommy Steele, he was forced to stop completely, to allow a woman who was reduced to tears, to catch her breath.
His act contains many unexpected twists and turns, such as his story of how he was mugged in Limerick, told through the medium of limericks. Mack has a beautiful way of looking at the world and it is an absolute pleasure to join him. Towards the end of the show, he took the risk of forcing the audience to sit in silence while imparting his grandmother’s advice on love. It is a mark of his capabilities that, at that point, it was impossible to suppress their giggles.