Stephen Merchant Live - Hello Ladies [DVD] (2011)
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The Ricky Gervais sidekick and star of 'The Office' and 'Extras' presents his views on topics including love and the injustices of being tall on his first solo stand-up tour recorded in 2011.
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Top Customer Reviews
The framing device for the show is Merchants ongoing struggles to find a partner. It's largely self deprecating humour mixed with ironic observations of many of the usual subjects - dating, marriage, sex - as well as insights into dealing with being a man of such height.
If you're familiar with, and enjoy, his various TV work then there's much to like here - a few belly laughs along the way as well as the previously mentioned chuckles. A bit of fun audience participation and a long, strange but funny encore add up to a worthwhile watch (especially as it's on Amazon Prime at time of writing).
The picture is pretty good (1080i Widescreen 16:9) , but it isn't as noticeable because it's just Steve on stage so it doesn't need to be crisp. Either way, it satisfies. Audio was fine because it's just one audio track but it's 2.0 if anyone's interested.
Bonus features were disappointing. There was an entertaining enough interview with Christian O'Connell where Steve talks about why he returned to stand up etc, and includes some very funny archive footage from the late 90s (SD) from an old routine. Hoped for more but it's ok I suppose. Subtitles are also available.
Overall a good package and a very funny show.
In DVD extras Merchant typically pleads ignorance of his own comic talent, saying he's largely unaware of what his face is doing, and so he doesn't indulge much of the antics that his Darren Lamb character did in Extras, for example. Instead he's playing an exaggerated public persona of himself, much like Gervais does, reacting with near-vitriol to his early reviews and, generally, his status as the lesser known one of the duo that wrote The Office.
Merchant is a humorous man, but in an oversatured stand-up market he suffers from being simply not that funny in comparison. He is almost certainly funnier than most people you know, but alas that limits him to being the kind of guy you'd enjoy getting a pint with rather than one you'd pay to see. Most of the material isn't exactly groundbreaking - there's a segment about dogs not being man's best friend. Amusing, yes...
There are moments of greatness here, and they bookend the show. Early on, he rails against the press response to The Office - or rather, his role in it, in which he is sometimes cut out of photographs or identified with the wrong name.
But the largest jewel in this very limited crown is the encore, a word by word reproduction of an 'issues'-laden play Merchant wrote at school called Choices. Roping in some audience members to play some of the parts, he doesn't even need to add anything to it for the comedy to flow freely.
Merchant has nothing left to prove after how great his TV and film work is as actor and writer, and there may be a great stand-up set in him somewhere; this just isn't it.
It's really great to see him without Ricky Gervais and he really holds his own and makes you wonder why he hasn't done any stand up before. He's a complete natural with really funny jokes and interesting stories on his quest to find a woman. The encore was brilliant (I hope it's on the DVD) as he gets members from the audience to help him perform the play he wrote in school and it's so funny. He was really confident and it was great to see his personality as I personally find him funnier away from Ricky Gervais and he's a lot nicer!
You can tell by now I really enjoyed it, best stand up gig I've ever seen. Buy the DVD now, if you like him in the stuff he's been in, you'll LOVE his stand up. Well done Steve.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Only ever seen Steve on extras and heard him on the ricky show - this stand up shows him in his own right and he is @@@@@@ hilarious! I love you Steve!Published 5 months ago by mo
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