Jim Campbell's Personal Space
Bland, unfunny Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show recounting life's mistakes
This article is from 2014.
The last thing comedy needs is yet another bland, bespectacled stand-up performing barely adequate material about their tedious first world problems. Jim Campbell is obviously a very nice man. That's not in itself a problem: you don't have to be a bitter, bile-caked misanthrope to make it in comedy (but it helps). The problem is that Campbell has nothing new or surprising to say.
As Stewart Lee illustrated with Carpet Remnant World, it's possible to write a funny show when your life contains little of interest. But Campbell is no Lee. Adrift in a fog of uninspired nostalgia for his 1990s youth, he's more akin to Russell Howard without the excoriating edge.
The premise is this: while packing his belongings before moving in with his girlfriend, Campbell recently reflected upon the mistakes he'd made in life. It's a decent framework for a show, but the execution is flimsy.
Jim, no one wants to see photos of your dog. No one cares about your 'crazy' friends and their whimsical in-jokes. There's more to comedy than merely recounting things. Your show is little more than watery solipsism, a live-action Facebook page, and no amount of nerdy self-deprecation can disguise that.
The Wee Coo @ Underbelly Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 25 Aug (not 12), 2.50pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).