Edinburgh Fringe 2008 Blog Part Two

Alex Skinner 05/08/2008

Day 2

Tuesday 5th August 2008

Will and Greg: A sketch show

Greg McHugh is an endearing character with friendly comedy credentials in pilots. This show is a great outlet for both Will and Greg for creating a show-case of their talents. There was not a duff sketch in the entire pack. This is impressive as the two perform their way through a whole host of characters and situations from fearsome aspects of everyday life. This includes a depressive estate agent in London, an awkward train journey, a simple walk, a job interview, a party, being old, a tennis coach, an office, a theatre performer and a New York detective to name but a few. The dialects and the ability to change the character-driven show shines through with an element of charm with the use of a battered TV.

More an observational quest showing they have the ability to Vox populi, the twosome build up for the biggest laugh towards the end in their sketch. Having girlfriends constructed out of rubber gloves they begin being abusive to the hands in a comedy fashion. Worth checking out on a mid afternoon mission. But when all is said and done, sketch comedy is shallow and throw away.


Pappy's Fun Club: Funergy

Happy young fellows Ben, Brandon, Matthew and Tom seem to be inspired by many things, including: the League of Gentlemen, Coogan characters, The Mighty Boosh and WE ARE KLANG.

It was all a bit 'Legz Akimbo' at the start but then the gang casually managed to reach a level of comfort with their stories. The Internet and an owl (signifying old and new) helped matters, and home made costumes finished the sketch with the endearing fable of the bi-curious otter. Daley Thompson was also mentioned.

In student style the lads trucked through some Vox populi character sketches. Bitter about Nottingham the foursome pinpoint a bad gig and exert a slice of revenge, acting out places on the map. 'Nottingham' being a racist yob, 'London' being a geezer trickster that steals money and dreams.

The sketch troupe also managed to act out a fun history lesson, the likes of which you could see on kids' TV. A musical montage involving a whale story received the biggest laugh. The lads' Improvisation was impressive when they wrought revenge on each other over their domestic differences. This airing of dirty laundry provided a chuckle.

Being fully dressed up, the troupe acted out a song about global warming, which was light hearted and worked well. I usually hate musical comedy but this was different. Panting towards the end the gang spread the love message with friendship reigning supreme at the final climax. A nice thought, it will never happen. I used to believe in people too. Hah, the excitement of youth.


Jim Jeffries: Hammered

The stage is set as Jim swaggers on in a seemingly drunken stupor. Straight in with a nice rape/AIDS joke to set the tone. The crowd warm to it instantly being knowledgeable of Jim's shenanigans and fully aware of his colossal reputation. Swindling into a rant that tackles religion and god's mysterious ways, who knows where he is taking the topic? Dark and dirty, spreading firm messages across the
egocentric character he storms the place weaving tales of creationism (being magic), Noah living for 950 years or how pandas can't help themselves so why bother with them? It was plain sailing to this point. The one thing Jim has wandered into is open bigotry. During some of his other shows there was at least a hint of partial irony, in this show, it is non-existent.

But it must be said, Jim is an absolute professional who is in the midst of breaking through to another level of success. This is obvious when weaving tales of being robbed or even when he hosted the NME awards in America (with Kelly Osborne). Jim is certainly a raconteur; people hang on his every word. Making the inane into a story, Jim puts plenty of them into the act, no matter how misfortunate - such as the tale of a day out to an American water park and interacting with heifer-shaped Americans.

'Hammered' is another exploration of the things that piss Jim off. Now at a level to entertain the masses of Americans, they are on his hit list. Americans, mother issues, coming
to terms with love lost, more rape jokes, nice girls being rubbish (psycho girls being the best) and finding a decent woman are all topics touched upon.

Jim pours his honest self into the routine in such a way that time passes quickly with his presence and delivery.