Thursday, April 03, 2008

Stephen K. Amos Review

Let me first say that I saw Stephen K. Amos last year, and I thought he was great. He has an infectious energy, a captivating stage presence and he is a genuinely a talented comedian. He’s slick, confident and funny. His jokes are, by turn, sharp, edgy and confronting. Yet it’s a comfortable place to be, his audience is. (Anyone who picks me up on that sentence, try it in a Yorkshire or Welsh accent and it makes sense, trust me)

The highlight of the night came towards the end of the show. He got the single men and the single women of the audience to stand up, and got two of the young ‘uns up on stage and offered them $150 worth of dinner and drinks at a swanky eatery if they agreed to go together.

It’s one of those times when a pack mentality prevails. We all, to a man, wanted them to agree, or at least disagree in a memorable way. And the cheer that went up when they agreed was by far the biggest cheer of the night.

Bar one. My personal favourite moment of the show was when Stephen glanced into the wings and collapsed into laughter. He turned to the audience and explained that Ross Noble was standing in the wings tapping his watch. He implored Ross to come out, and Ross comes out, embraces Stephen and launches into a rant about Stephen "saying "See this, see that, there's people waiting outside. And does he turn the lights down for earth hour? Does he fuck!"

Also, Ross had a funky hat on. I love a good hat.

Now for the downside. Even thought I’m glad I went, and did enjoy the show, I wouldn’t go and see Stephen K. Amos again, at least not for a while.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that some of the jokes he told were so well used - by him and others (The wheels turning but the hamsters dead? I’VE used that one) – that I found myself mouthing along to them. For example, if I had to come up with a catch-cry for him, it would be “Find the Funny”. He used it liberally throughout his show this year, as he did last year. In fact, there were quite a few not exactly recycled, but certainly rehashed jokes and themes from last years show. The parody of the Australian accent, for example, was one theme leant on heavily in both this and last years shows.

Don’t get me wrong. I laughed. I was not unhappy to have gone, but honestly, it could have been last year’s show for half the time.

My recommendation is this; if you haven’t seen him before, it’s well worth the effort.

If you have, do like I will, and give him a miss for a few years.


Ant Rogenous said...

I've found the same thing about him, Keri -- I saw him a couple of years ago when he was here as part of the "Best of the Edinburgh Festival" show and thought he was terrific; but every time I've seen him on TV since, he's been trading on the same old jokes.

It's a shame, because he's otherwise excellent at what he does.

Chuck A. Spear said...

Great review Keri. I have used a variation of the hamster joke: "The mouse has fallen off the wheel."

I wish I has never used it now. It sounds retarded.

Chuck A. Spear said...

Speaking of old jokes, I have hear Greg Fleet tell the Spartacus one dozens of times. I think he's a cock now.

Keri said...

I can't stand Greg Fleet.

Stephen K. is excellent at what he does, but I think he gets a bit lazy with the material, which is a shame