Benny Boot: As Seen On TV (2 stars)

This article is from 2013

Benny Boot: As Seen On TV

credit: Andrew Cotterill

Attempted subversion of the artform underpinned by semi-surrealist gags fails to take off

Benny Boot’s schtick is an attempted mix of subverting the comedy form underpinned by a stream of semi-surrealist gags which Mitch Hedberg would have ditched the moment they arrived in his head.

The key word here is ‘attempted’, as Boot simply fails to pull it off no matter how hard he tries.

At a previous Fringe, a large bulk of his hour was devoted to playing a deliberately bad comic (a trick which backfired spectacularly). This time around, he is joined by a production team who are filming his every move for a DVD. But the subterfuge falls at the first hurdle given that he steps out at the beginning pretending to be the film’s producer. Sure, his is hardly a household name and face, but it wouldn’t take a Poirot to join the dots from the guy on the poster to the man standing on the stage.

If you’re going for a massive conceit, you really need to see it through from start to finish: check out ‘Canadian’ ‘legend’ Baconface for full-blown commitment to a bizarre idea. Anyone who dares to do something different with a tried and tested artform such as stand-up should be applauded. But there needs to be more flesh to the basic notion and Benny Boot hasn’t get the comedic weight to do much with his idea.

Underbelly Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug (not 12), 5.30pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Benny Boot: As Seen On TV

  • 2 stars

Get Comedy. Following last year's sell-out show, this year Benny (seen on Dave's One Night Stand) pre-empts his imminent fame by recording a TV special live from the 2013 Edinburgh Festival. However, the stakes are high as he's not been given the green light from the television networks. Benny continually blurs the line…