wed 10/08/2022

Alan Carr, Touring | reviews, news & interviews

Alan Carr, Touring

Alan Carr, Touring

Businesslike show from the Chatty Man

Alan Carr delivers a slick but unengaging evening

Alan Carr has titled his latest live show Yap, Yap, Yap! Because, he says as the show opens, everyone has too much to say these days, much of it - such as the stuff on Twitter - not worth listening to. Coming from the host of Channel 4 chatshow Chatty Man, that's comically rich. But such is Carr's genuine likeability that the audience overlook that and settle in to enjoy the evening.

I wish I could say I enjoyed it as much as they did. The fans at London's Hammersmith Apollo were laughing in all the right places, but then Carr's delivery, looks to the audience and body language telegraphed each moment when they should laugh - handily so, as the DVD of this tour was being recorded.

He covers a lot of territory (both jokewise and stagewise) as he acts out several gags, running from side to side of the enormous stage, interacting with the front row - some of the best bits of the show - as he delivered a slick set in which Crocs, David Walliams, John Bishop, rubbish television, charity work and paedophiles get a mention. Trouble is, the jokes appeared to have been written from the payoff backwards.

The boyfriend material I had heard many times beforeSo, with a few exceptions, I didn't believe a word of it. “Have you ever....?”, “You know when....” No I have never checked for food in my teeth in the reflection of a car window and then discovered the driver was inside; nor have I joined a Jack the Ripper walk in London and forgetfully stood in the doorway of a Londis, causing the automatic doors repeatedly to open and shut at a crucial moment in the story; nor indeed have I seen someone complaining about the Lake District on TripAdvisor because she had lost her handbag there.

When he veered towards more personal material, such as his relationship with his family, or his partner moving in with him recently, I thought it might throw up some decent stuffs. But the family reference is thrown away for a cheap gag, while the boyfriend material I had heard many times before - a trip to Oman (where homosexuality is “illegal”, so why go there?) required Carr “to be butch for a week”, while his partner isn't as camp as him so “he'll enjoy a dogfight but appreciates a room spray”.

I have been a fan of Carr's since I first saw him in a sweaty attic room at the Edinburgh Fringe, when his comedy - about growing up as a sport-hating gay teen in a football-mad household, about dreaming of stardom even when he was miserably earning his living in a call centre - had a strong sense of authenticity and was uttterly engaging.

Now, sadly, his material, amusing enough though it is, has the mark of comedy written by committee. In other words, the kind of gags a TV personality - rather than a bona fide stand-up - does when he goes on the road to sell those DVDs.

  • Alan Carr is touring until 19 December
With a few exceptions, I didn't believe a word of it


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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