Comedy-by-numbers by the returning stand-up
Spencer Brown likes willies. The number of his routines that iterate their way towards the willy and its related subjects, is frankly bizarre. After a while you just start expecting it.
It’s a bit of a shame that Brown resorts to so many cheap shots as he used to be a very distinctive comic, and clearly still has many of the muscles developed in the clubs. Don’t get me wrong, we all like a knob gag, but we all like variety too, and range doesn’t appear to be Brown’s strongest suit (being able to play guitar doesn’t count).
Brown talks about the pitfalls of marriage, and of bringing up a small child when you still have an innuendo-filled, paranoid adult brain – but even then he will often find his way to the willy but hook or by crook. It’s universal comedy, but not in an especially good way. A joke about “rogue shopping” to wrong-foot the Club Card people seems very familiar indeed.
Things improve when he’s more adventurous with his topics, such as technology and our addiction to it, and how it’s ruining his dinner party-stopping fact about tigers. And Brown is also still the confident performer who’s in fully control of his material. The trouble is that material mostly feels complacent and cliched.
Review by Paul Fleckney