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Last Night's Comedy Night with Ardal O'Hanlon

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A few weeks ago I saw a news item on the BBC Gloucestershire website saying that Ardal O'Hanlon was going to be performing at a venue near me. I booked tickets, invited my friend James, and last night was the night.

The line-up was nicely varied, with 4 totally different comedians from 4 different places:
All of them were very good, very funny...

Craig Campbell

Never seen this guy before. The main thing that struck me about him was that he looked like Justin Lee Collins. He was very loud, in your face, and interracted with the audience a lot. The great thing about him is that he's lived in the UK for 12 years (although he sounds totally Canadian), and he had a lot of funny observational things to say about British people versus Canadians and Americans. For example, saying how amazed he was that it was so easy for him to get a British driving liscence just by sending off his Canadian liscence to the UK DVLA. And he was like "Wait! Which side of the road do I drive on?" and they were like, "Don't worry, you'll figure it out..." And also he pointed out how a foreign driver would have absolutely no clue as to the the speed limit on a British motorway. Of course, all this is only 1% as funny as was hearing him say it all.

Video - From 2007, telling some of the same jokes he told last night, talking about British life from a foreigner's point of view. He has much shorter hair here though.

Paul Tonkinson

I've seen him on TV qutie a lot in the past. Pretty funny guy. Interacted with the audience a lot. Made me quite glad I wasn't sat anywhere near the front. He did some funny impressions of French people.


Phil Kay

Where do I even start with this guy? The guy's a total and utter mental random loony crazy freak of a nutcase, and I love him! Phil was my favourite comedian of the night. I remember him from a TV show he did more than 10 years ago called Phil Kay Feels. I was wondering what he would be like now, whether he would still be as extreme, and he certainly didn't disappoint.

It's hard to describe via written words just what Phil Kay is like, but he really is totally random and insane, and is exactly my kind of comedian. There is absolutely no theme or structure to his act at all. He just frantically does whatever pops into his head.

For example:
  • When he came on stage, he brought an ironing board with him, with various things placed on it.
  • After the previous comedian (Paul) had observed that the Christmas tree was badly decorated (it didn't have much decoration on the top of it), Phil, near the beginning of his performance, decided to place a plastic coat hanger with a tomato on it onto the top of the tree. He then screamed that he wished he was the fairy on top of the tree, and grabbed the star and pressed it onto his chest. I can't remember exactly what he did then, but he really went off on a tangent.
  • At one point he randomly went over to the widow and started shouting at kids on the street.
  • He pulled his jeans up really high, so they were really tight around his crotch. He then did a really random dance, jerking from side to side over and over again.
Video - Altough this really isn't Phil at his best, but it gives you an idea of who he is. There aren't that many video clips of Phil Kay on the internet, as these days he doesn't appear on TV much. However, to get a feel for the kind of things he comes out with, here's a chunk of text I stole from his website:

Skim the surface and it is an utterly up to the minute super-list of recent events in phils life,esapades adventures, mishaps, ideas, schemes, scams, dreams and drams..recipes, jokes and thoughts thoughts thoughts, wee,wee description of the most exciting moments of phils recent gigs...Dip your head under a bit..hold your breath, go deeper and it will then be a more further reaching set of riveting philosophy prose as i release my auto-blography in tiny chunks..it is to be published as a book with photo and dvd of footage and is to be called: 'sorry i am late,the orphanage was on fire..' ....or...'any trousers will do after the earthquake'.

Ardal O'Hanlon

There was something subtly surreal about seeing Ardal come onto the stage, having never seen him before in real life but seen him many times on TV. It's like that subtle realisation you know you shouldn't really be having because it doesn't actually make any sense, like "Oh, he's actually a real person..." The main thing that struck me is that he seemed smaller than I imagined him, although I am aware that TV often makes people seem bigger than they really are (for example, apparently Jack Dee is only 3 feet tall in real life). I noticed the same think with Paul Tonkinson, who looked a lot skinnier than I imaged him.

Anyway, Ardal was very funny, and did make me laugh a lot. Especially lines like "Me and my wife - hey, I have a wife, WAHEY! - anyway, me and my wife, every month we go out to a restaurant for an argument..."

He was very funny, but somehow couldn't quite match up to Phil Kay, just purely because Phil Kay is so extreme. What I'm saying is, I'm not saying Ardal O'Hanlon wasn't funny. I'm saying Ardal WAS very funny, but Phil Kay before him had nearly killed me.


Things Worthy of Note
  • The woman sat next to me laughed hysterically at everything, yet the man she was with didn't appear to smile the whole time he was there.
  • After Phil Kay's set, I passed him half way up the stairs on my way back from the toilet. It took me by surprise, because I wasn't looking at him at first, and only realised it was him as I got right next to him. I heard him grumpily say something along the lines of "Oh, don't stand and talk to me then..." to a woman a few steps above me as she walked on past him. It was then that I found myself right next to him and turned to suddenly realise it was him, stood leaning against the middle banister with a pint of beer in his hand. I instictively said a cheerful "Alright?" to him as I carried on past, and he just quickly replied "Hello."

Very enjoyable night. Well worth the money. All four comedians were very funny, but Phil Kay was amazing (in my warped opinion).


My Other Blog: Sun-kissed

About me

  • I'm Marcus
  • From Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
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Contact Me: mejc@mejc.demon.co.uk

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