Ismo Leikola: Observing the Obvious
Mellow observational comedy from chilled-out Finn
This article is from 2015.
At no point during his show does Ismo Leikola rant, gesture wildly or even raise his voice. The Finnish comic is incredibly mellow, a chilled-out guy observing the world and stroking his beard with amused disbelief.
English is his second language and he's got plenty of welcome revelations about the bizarre nature of our lexicon, including his preference for 'the bees knees' over 'the dogs bollocks', a genuine puzzlement as to the purpose of silent letters and his response to the classic 'your mum' joke.
The show is broadly about observation and Leikola has a talent for observing the comedy in animals, from earthworms to whales via domestic pets. Some of the gender material is a bit middle of the road, women potentially owning more bathroom products than men being a surprise to no one. However his muddled take on talking to the opposite sex, in particular his wife of several years, offers an original perspective with plenty of face-palm moments and the punchline 'it made things worse' cropping up regularly.
Overall, it's a pleasure to spend an hour in his laid-back, bemused company, though following the show you will have to fight the urge to ask Finnish people to say 'squirrel'.
Gilded Balloon, 622 6552, until 30 Aug (not 20 & 21), 4pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).