Unexpected Items in Badinage Areas
A wedge between act and audience that can’t be removed
This article is from 2015.
Comedians have proved in the past that even the phonebook, read aloud in the right way, can allow them to wrap their audience around their little finger. Or to borrow from the wisdom of Frank Carson and paraphrase it a bit, it’s not the words, it’s the way you tell them. Sadly, Richard Pulsford tells his jokes (and his show is made up of 50 minutes of ‘puns, gags and one-liners’) in a strangely unengaging way.
His quick-fire barrage of puns should be a delight of groans and face-palming fun for the crowd, but instead it’s more like an endurance test of gritted teeth and polite smiles. Maybe he was having a particularly bad day, but his constant observations that the crowd ‘isn’t going for that one’, and ‘probably want to walk out’, and ‘didn’t like it yesterday either’, and ‘are probably wondering why I got into stand-up in the first place’ only serve to drive a slowly growing wedge between him and the audience.
There are some cracking puns in there, definitely, just delivered in a lacklustre and unconvincing way. It’s not that puns can’t be hilarious, they most certainly can; but sadly with this show, Pulsford’s uncharming reading-aloud style puts the bad into badinage.
Scottish Comedy Festival @ The Beehive Inn, 07768 048 165, until 30 Aug, 3pm, free.