Why you should see Rory Scovel instead of Louis CK or David Cross

Of all the US comics coming to London this summer, it’s Scovel who has Sam Charles most sweaty-palmed

Rory Scovel american comedian


There are a lot of great American comics coming to our shores in the near future – David Cross, Louis CK, Todd Barry – but the one I’m most excited about is Rory Scovel. You heard me. And unlike the other fellas I mention, Scovel has never gigged over here before, so this is an extra-special occasion.

Listen to the first track off his album Dilation on Spotify and you’ll get an idea of what he’s like (unpredictable is what he’s like). Or look at the first 30 seconds of this clip – you’ll get the idea.

“I don’t even have jokes, I just do this shit for 20 minutes”, he says. In fact watch the whole thing, it’s great, but he does have jokes – really good, right-brain hemisphere jokes. But over 20 minutes he only gets round to doing about five of them, because the improvisation is so much fun.

Of course, crowd-work is a staple for many comedians. But take a look at the below clip from 2013. Watch the whole thing. Or go straight to 4.59 and watch from there:

Got you didn’t it? There’s other stuff we can talk about – like he did a record with Jack White’s label after giving White some kind of recording in a diner – but that’s not really going to make your mind up one way or another.

What’s important is that he’s one of the best live acts in America, and here’s here for a short amount of time, while a lot of comics have deserted London for Edinburgh. People this side of the pond have heard of Louis CK, and David Cross, but if you want to be able to say, “We went to see this really good American comic and he’s not very well-known over here,” then Scovel’s your man, although that’d be a bad reason to do something.

Sometimes it’s all in a deep southern accent, other times a German one. No one knows!

• Rory Scovel is at the Invisible Dot, Kings Cross from August 1-4

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