A one-man innovative juggernaut going coast to coast
This article is from 2009.
Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure is ostensibly the story of a comedian travelling the world trying to establish disparate pairings of words that return just one hit in the search engine. ‘Essentially a show about me having a breakdown’, is how Gorman describes it, but the project has had quite a legacy. Touring the show around the US in 2005, Gorman found himself staying in a soulless series of identikit chain hotels while everywhere he trekked, he was confronted by Corporate America. Resolving to stick it to The Man(tm), he returned Stateside to see if he could drive coast to coast using only independent gas stations, hotels and ‘Mom and Pop’ businesses.
The result was the book and documentary America Unchained. ‘It was very much made on my terms,’ Gorman maintains. ‘I didn’t make a documentary, I had one made about me, with no research or meetings set up in advance. If you already know what’s going to happen then there’s no point fucking doing it!’ Unfortunately, with his car forever breaking down and his camera-person leaving, the vegetarian comic writer quickly found himself alone, gorging on McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King burgers in a Best Western Hotel. The challenge took a back seat, and despite having a gun pulled on him Mississippi, Gorman became enchanted with smalltown America.
‘They’re delighted someone from overseas has left the tourist trail with a genuine civic pride that makes them really want a visitor to have a good time,’ he says. ‘I get an email once a week from an American thanking me because they’re grateful someone’s being positive about them. They know they’re public enemy number one in global politics, they know they’re maligned and a figure of fun, but they don’t quite understand why.’ At the end of August, Gorman returns to performing conventional stand-up without all the madcap, globetrotting caper storytelling by, er, cycling 1500 miles across the UK stopping off only to do a gig each night. He’ll be rolling into Glasgow in September, ‘assuming I get that far’.
16 Aug, 8pm, £9 (£7).