Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
Not quite the laugh-fest I'd hoped for!
on 20 November 2008
Writing reviews for comedy DVD's - particularly stand up - is very difficult as comedy is so subjective. I had seen Russell Howard on BBC1's "Live at the Apollo" and I thought his 20 minutes set was one of the funniest and most refreshing performances I had seen in recent years and I bought the DVD on day of release.
To my slight dismay I found it a little underwhelming.
His performance is the same manic, zany & energetic style that I had seen on TV, yet I feel he never quite got into his stride and the laughs seemed few & far between. Howard's stand-up is delivered in a relentlessly energetic fashion, running and leaping around the stage, his material infused with a sense of child-like wonder and a unique brand of anti-cynicism. Don't get me wrong - there are laughs to be had, but after watching the latest Jimmy Carr DVD where I was laughing from start to finish, this just seemed a bit lacking.
If Howard can be accused of anything, it's of being a fairly "safe" performer - rather than do anything especially new with stand-up, he simply attacks the job with all the enthusiasm he can muster, revelling in his role as an entertainer and doing a brilliant job at it. The odd bout of crowd-based improvisation aside, he stays in the same gear throughout the performance.
The DVD package itself is especially disappointing. The production is good, if not perfect - although the editing could've perhaps made some parts of the show a little slicker, it instead gives the impression of a live performance captured in its entirety, retaining a genuine feel. The running time is roughly 1 hour, even accounting for an extra Q&A segment recorded especially for the DVD, and the only extra is the aforementioned Q&A, which is disappointingly short.
As I said at the beginning, comedy is subjective, but me? I bought this DVD, watched it just once then sold it immediately right here on Amazon Marketplace. Draw your own conclusions from that.