Stephen Carlin - The Podium of Unconditional Surrender
Airdrie wag refuses to get tough
This article is from 2010.
Stephen Carlin doesn’t really have a thing, in that way that comedians do: no identifying features. In his comedy, not facially. Facially he’s easy to spot: good-looking, with the sort of dastardly moustache that you rather suspect is going to turn out to be part of his act. But it isn’t. Things that are part of his act: Buzz Aldrin, caravans, pedantry, and the verb ‘to Argos’. Carlin is obviously a great writer. He doesn’t just take pleasure in language, he worries at it with his teeth, pulls it apart to show us how ridiculous our uses of it are; and when that passion slips out, the show catches on fire.
But, curiously, given his line of work, he doesn’t seem to want to offend anyone. There are teasing moments when it seems he’s about to take on a meaty topic – the English football team or people who voted for David Cameron – but then he shies away, preferring to riff quietly around minutiae. Go on, Stephen, show us your teeth again.
The Stand III & IV, 558 7272, until 29 Aug (not 16), 8pm, £8 (£7).