Shelby Bond (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Shelby Bond

Easy-going, affable and inclusive stage persona is a late-night hit

Given he’s got a late night spot in a dingy subterranean room in a city centre drinking hole, one assumes this American stand-up will be loud and brash and foul-mouthed enough to deal with anything a difficult, drunk nocturnal crowd will throw at him. But while the some members of the audience perform in accordance with expectations, Shelby, as the comic calls himself, overturns preconceived notions of what a graveyard shift comedian ought to be.

Shelby is, he says, often mistaken for a gay man, which he doesn’t have a problem with. Also, Shelby doesn’t drink, smoke or take drugs. And while he likes sex and relationships, he’s not into kinky or abusive stuff. Shelby is, concludes Shelby, a ‘people pleaser’, by which he means he puts the needs of others before his own. Shelby, in short, is a really nice guy.

This goes down surprisingly well with his boozy nite-owl audience, who are happy enough to listen to Shelby talk about his life, from his upbringing in conservative Texas to his escape to more permissive California. In this twilight setting, Shelby’s easy-going, affable, inclusive stage persona comes as pleasant surprise.

Just the Tonic at The Tron, 556 5375, until 25 Aug, 11.40pm, £7 (£6).

Shelby Bond: People Pleaser

  • 3 stars

They say that tragedy plus time equals comedy, and American comic Shelby Bond has waited long enough. After years of trying to fix addicts, cutters and manically depressed girlfriends, Bond, a self-confessed people pleaser, has decided that the least they can do is let him write a show about it. 'Five Stars! Comic genius!