Category Archives: Comedy

Deconstructing the protest song

Having fun with right-on slogans. My review [£] of comedy duo Jonny & the Baptists: Jonny Donahue and Paddy Gervers are an eccentric double act. One is short and stout, the other tall and slim, much like a bargain-basement, Labour-leaning … Continue reading

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Ronnie Corbett RIP

“One’s a trade union leader, the other’s a member of the Cabinet…” I thought Ronnie Barker wrote the script, but I was getting it mixed up with another classic, “Four Candles”  The Mastermind spoof is actually the work of David … Continue reading

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Have you heard the one about the Muslim comedian?

Not a night to remember. My review [£] of Shazia Mirza’s show at Soho Theatre: She seems to want to have it both ways. When Shazia Mirza complains about being treated as a token brown face in an industry dominated by … Continue reading

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Garry Shandling RIP

  Terrible, terrible news. I still can’t believe it. There are so many wonderful Larry Sanders moments, but the one where William Shatner joins the fun has to be one of the best. Celebrities behaving badly. “Try to get him to say … Continue reading

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Queen Dillie

Dillie Keane is on the road without Fascinating Aïda. My review [£] in today’s Times: Keane’s personality soon fills the auditorium. Rummaging through the unfailingly intelligent songs she has written with [Adèle] Anderson over the past three decades, she is … Continue reading

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Getting grips with the Wu-Tang Clan

“I caught lyrics rhyming gonorrhoea and diarrhoea.” David Aaronovitch listens to the hip-hop group for the first time, courtesy of Ruth & Martin’s Album Club. Of course, everyone’s favourite chatshow sidekick, Hank Kingsley, took the plunge a couple of decades ago: … Continue reading

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Nina Conti’s voices

Ventriloquism ain’t dead yet. My review [£] of a magical, hilarious night: Conti’s latest offering is devastatingly witty and full of daringly unscripted flights of fancy. She giggles endlessly and occasionally flirts with disaster as she summons members of the … Continue reading

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Cambridge politicians

The reviews I remember reading seemed quite sniffy or full of faint praise, but in the end I enjoyed John Cleese’s autobiography much more than I’d expected. If he doesn’t come across as the most warm-hearted of individuals — would anyone … Continue reading

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Bit player

Via John Podhoretz in The Weekly Standard. With apologies to my thespian friends: There’s a great joke about acting. One actor says to another actor, “Hey, I just got cast in Hamlet.” The other actor says, “I know this is … Continue reading

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When Leo Tolstoy joined Facebook

Since my latest attempt (the fifth, I think) to read “War and Peace” has ground to an embarrassing halt, a victim of the cruel Russian winter, I’m cheering myself up with this marvellous sliver of literary day-dreaming by Paul Greenberg. … Continue reading

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