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Good Clean Fun

by Katie de Klee / 07.05.2013

“When I got the call saying they’d sold tickets to my show in South Africa I felt like Rodriguez,” said Michael McIntyre before traipsing across the stage like Sixto in the snow. It was funny, it was a good start Mick-Mac and I was laughing.

I was sad though that there wasn’t more new material in his act. Because unlike Rodriguez, Michael McIntyre has been enjoying fame since 2006 and just because you’re in a new country doesn’t mean you have a fresh crowd. We’ve seen some of this stuff before, mainly on the BBC Entertainment channel.

Of course when I say ‘we’ I’m taking liberties. Many of the people in the audience that night, were either British, like me, or have DSTV. And it’s a merciless thing too, to want a singer to play the songs you know and a comedian to surprise you. I couldn’t help it though, I did want to be a bit more surprised by his performance.

One thing I hadn’t seen was McIntyre’s opening video: a short clip of him being assembled like Gadget Man backstage.

The wonderful thing about Michael McIntyre’s sense of humour is that it is very accessible. He bounces onto the stage like a seal onto a rock with his hair flopping around, and his smile creasing his cheeks and he is clearing enjoying himself. There is very little in his set that challenges you, there is nothing overly intellectual or political, no swear words, no heckling. The audience is only expected to agree, to nod along.

The man drawer and the spice rack are things we hear and think “ah yes, the cumin, I have cumin too.” Jolly good, it’s stuff we can identify with. Science has proven that laughter is contagious, much like yawning. Just seeing other people smile makes you smile too. So as a comedian, as long as you get enough people going you’ll be all right.

Alas, the jokes about his wife and kids always seem to jar a little for me, simply because Mick-Mac is so damn camp. It’s hard to imagine him as a family man and whenever he mentions the wife and children, I tend to think of Tom Cruise and his beard(s). Fortunately his comedy is such good clean fun, it doesn’t matter that he might actually be a closeted old queen, in fact it tends to lend to the intrigue of his show.

Where McIntyre’s routine suffered from its familiarity, Paul Tonkinson, who opened the show, deserves a mention. His set was much cruder than McIntyre’s but it was premised on the same sort of observational jokes – the usual shtick of turning his relationship with his wife into a hilarious farce. But being less famous than ol Mick-Mac, it was all sparkly new material for the audience to enjoy.

Good comedy nights are a rare kind of entertainment treat that leaves you weary; physically you’ve been suffering a series of respiratory fits in your abdominal muscles and diaphragm. And that just might be the best kind of exercise on the market.

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