Charlie Baker (2 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Charlie Baker

Schizophrenic jazz man should stick to one tune

He can sing (jazz), he can dance (his three stock moves can get you through any showtune choreography situation), he can squeeze his Jack Black-esque frame into revealing clothing and, most importantly, he can tell jokes. So why does Charlie Baker spend ten minutes of his 60 at the world’s best comedy showcase making the audience enact a Devonshire cattle market to no discernible comic effect?

He starts strong with what becomes a recurring theme, his all-pervasive ‘sponsor’, a website selling the Devon flag (it’s green with a black and white cross, vexillology fans). Observational gags and enthusiastic audience interaction soon gather pace and garner laughs. Then the agricultural interlude, along with bursts of songs from adverts and easy listening classics, appears as filler after half an hour of everything going swimmingly. By the ending, which features more larynx-busting comedy crooning, his cheeky chappie demeanour and easy rolling punchlines that enticed the audience from the start are not enough to keep them on his side. This Jack of all trades should stick to one. Hint: it’s not selling Devon flags.

The Caves, 208 0882, until 30 Aug, 6.40pm, £8–£9 (£7–£8).

Charlie Baker - The World's Greatest Show-Off

  • 2 stars

Imagine Frank Sinatra, Jack Black and Jethro had a son. Imagine no more as Charlie Baker brings his debut solo show to Edinburgh. 'A superior modern take on the traditional showman' (Guardian).

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