It was the fourth of the February Sunday gigs last night – which was to be the last of the series, but they’re continuing into March, so hurrah for that! Back in the driving seat was Ryan Mold, making us all welcome with some fun material about car boot sales and selling on Facebook Marketplace – I’d already concluded I’d never do that and he proved me right.
Our first act was James Cook, who admits he suffers from having a common name so that you can’t find him on social media! He was new to us and I really loved his throwaway style of delivering a punchline, which can make a joke last twice as long as you expect. Some great material about the least appropriate site for a Sea Life Centre, what a communal teddy bear can get up to at the weekends, and a wonderfully funny take on the Shamima Begum situation, which could have been iffy but was actually brilliant. Would really like to see him again “when everything gets back to normal”.
Next up was Esther Manito, whom we’ve also never seen before, and, of all the comics that we’ve seen plying their trade through the medium of zoom, she’s the one who’s absolutely nailed the technique, using the camera to great effect – most notably during her material about having sex with Matt Hancock (no, really). Some excellent comic observations, including how you can misunderstand the word Lebanese, and a terrific presence – she’s someone else we need to see again before too long.
Five acts this week (you spoil us, Mr Ambassador) and in the middle slot was Mike Cox, whom we saw in another Comedy Crate/Atic gig a couple of weeks ago. Some of his new material didn’t quite hit the mark (but that’s always the case when you try new things out, otherwise how can you find out!) but I really enjoyed his shopping at Aldi material, and how cruel a trip to Chessington World of Adventures can really be. He’s a naturally funny guy with great delivery and a strong presence – and he has great interaction skills with the audience.
Another new name to us was next, Yuriko Kotani, Japanese but based in Britain – which must be a source of great culture clash comedy. I particularly liked her observations about the differences between the nature of the Japanese and English languages, and she has a very warm and winning personality that shone through. There’s also a rather delicate use of the surreal, evidenced by her slightly bizarre material about creating dried flowers. Very enjoyable!
Our headline act was Larry Dean, whose star has been in the ascendant for some time but we haven’t seen for about seven years, and I confess when I first saw him I wasn’t certain how much I liked his material. But seven years is a long time in comedy and last night he was bright, self-deprecating, insightful and hilarious. He uses his range of accents to terrific comic effect and has such fluidity in his delivery that it just washes over you, so you bask in pure comic refreshment. Very nice material contrasting British and American elections, and also some very funny asides about his new chap. Really enjoyed his set and will look forward to seeing him again.
So, more Sunday night zoom gigs in March? I think so!