MC for the night Jim Grant walked on stage with a very pantomime-like “are you well?”. This, sadly, made me dislike him from the word go.
Thankfully that dislike lasted only for a couple of seconds as he told joke after hilarious joke, and brilliantly responded to talkers in the audience by saying “bringing your own conversation to a comedy club is like going to a brothel and having a wank”. With a bit more tightness in his act this guy could definitely go far. Jim Grant came on stage several times to introduce the three acts of the night; Dave Blud, Stephen Carlin, and Carl Donnelly.
Dave Blud began his set by thanking the junkies of Brighton for helping the city win the coveted Heroin capital of the UK title. With some great jokes with short, easy to remember punch lines this warm-up act pointed out the dangers of having sex too long; “Bear Grylls has taught us that if you rub anything together for too long it’ll catch fire” and that Jamie Oliver appears to get fatter all the time he fights to cut obesity in children. Perhaps he’s eating the food for them.
Stephen Carlin, who at times i couldn’t concentrate on because of certain very noise drunken Scots at the bar, admits that he bears an uncanny likeness to Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, but insists that he has never killed any prostitutes in the county. Perhaps if Stephen joined up with The Ripper for a prison tour of the UK he would be able to bring a very unique edge to his stand-up. He says “the beard is like the Union Jack because it has been disassociated by evil” due to psychopaths like Osama Bin Laden, Sadam Hussein, and of course Jeremy Beadle favouring the hairy faced look. Carlin’s timing and overall performance were at times hindered by hecklers and talking in the audience but on the whole his set was a real laugh out loud experience. My only real criticism is that he needs to come up with some signature jokes that people will be able to tell their friends. If you like jokes about God, prison, and cursing women in Argos then this guy is for you.
On stage for this his second Edinburgh festival preview show Carl Donnelly, who wishes to inform you that West Ham player Scott Barker was recently diagnosed with Leukaemia, delivered a brilliant set of partially made up on the spot material about the ease of spreading rumours, Glastonbury, and the international language of novelty dance. People like us coming to bars to have guys like Donnelly make us laugh is a definite sign of laziness in our modern age, but for Carl “the biggest sign of laziness today is the prepared fruit in supermarkets”. Throughout his set Carl Donnelly had the audience in stitches, with the biggest laugh being when he burped, and told jokes that most of the audience will surely take home, rip off, and spontaneously tell their friends later. Brilliant.
Originally published here: http://sqmagazine.co.uk/2011/07/via-comedy-take-over-june-30th-dave-blud-stephen-carlin-and-carl-donnelly/