Josh Howie: I am a Dick (1 star)

This article is from 2011


Patchy quest with dodgy material

Somewhere along the way, the idea that a sniggering comedian telling a badly-timed rape gag is the vanguard of free speech has become entrenched. It’s not: it’s just lazy. There’s nothing ‘edgy’ about Josh Howie’s material in I am a Dick; he’s not pushing boundaries or making broader points about taboos that haven’t been done better a thousand times before. He’s just an overgrown adolescent, splashing about gleefully in shocking words, occasionally prone to genuinely petulant outbursts about not having as many Twitter followers as his friends.

He doesn’t even have the courage to follow through on the impact of his words: the homophobic material is carefully leavened with casual mentions of gay friends, and he all but melts down when he realises the sole loudly-laughing man is actually taking his ‘racist section’ at face value.

This Fringe is embedded in such a heady, politicised and genuinely shocking year that it’s disappointing to see so many comedians still trotting out safe material. And by ‘safe’, I mean the rape gags: hurling spears at political correctness for cheap laughs that don’t always come. Josh Howie is clearly an intelligent man who could do much better: his structureless, patchy quest to discover whether he’s a dick already looks vapid and dated.

The Stand V, 558 7272, until 28 Aug, 6.20pm, £9 (£8).

Josh Howie: I Am A Dick

  • 1 star

The guy on the running machine said I’m an asshole. The old lady on the bus reckons a cock. My wife thinks a twat. But they’re all wrong. I’m a dick. ‘Treads a fine line but he treads it perfectly. Both fascinating and funny’ ★★★★ (Scotsman) ‘A skillful comic whose ability to layer gag upon gag is unlikely to be…