John Lloyd: Emperor of the Prawns
A comedy pioneer’s diverting lecture on facts and friends
This article is from 2015.
John Lloyd, the man with a hand in Spitting Image, Blackadder and QI, friend of Douglas Adams and all-round purveyor of trivia-based entertainment starts his show with this credo from mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead: ‘it is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true’. On a grand stage with PowerPoint projection screen behind him and lectern in front, Lloyd resembles a philosopher lecturer introducing the syllabus to first-year students in a performance that attempts to be entertaining while studded with facts that will blow our minds.
With the hour’s educational feel, a more appropriate statement might be: ‘it is more important that a joke be interesting than that it be funny’. The show works best when Lloyd is dropping names to riff on Adams’ work or mention Stephen Fry, as well as containing some nice nonsensical aphorisms. It’s all marred slightly by his attempts to include more traditional stand-up material.
Much like an episode of QI or his Radio 4 programme The Museum of Curiosity, Lloyd’s brand of edutainment succeeds at being gently amusing when taken with a cup of tea before bed. But Emperor of the Prawns really can’t compete with the wealth of more essential comedy on offer at the Fringe.
Assembly Checkpoint, 623 3030, until 30 Aug, 4.30pm, £11–£13 (£10–£12).