TIM VINE – THE JOKE-AMOTIVE
Tim Vine's comedy seems less a series of artistic choices and more a pathological condition. He's unable to speak for more than a few seconds without finding the potential for a pun, and I have little doubt that this extends to his life offstage. I don't know if a doctor would actually diagnose him with Foerster's syndrome, the brain disorder that causes uncontrollable punning, but by my stars the guy is one of the oddest showmen around.
This isn't to suggest that Vine isn't a good comedian. It's just that his niche is so particular that you'll either love it or not get it at all. It's an hour of constant, uninterrupted punning. “A man handed me a box of Jamaican wigs. Dreadful!” “The thief stealing T-shirts in order of size is still at large!”
Vine isn't really for me but a packed Supper Room last week were roaring. What confused me most was when, around 20 minutes in, the audience groaned at a joke. I was stunned and confused, since I honestly couldn't tell why one specific pun could be considered stretching it a bit when the previous five thousand were apparently rip-snorters. No matter. If you're attracted by unbridled punning then you'll dig this, and if you aren't then consider yourself duly warned. “What do you call a bundle of hay in a church? Christian Bale!”