Saturday, April 10, 2010

Comedy Fest review: Jon Richardson - This Guy at Night


There are two kinds of people in the world, says Jon Richardson, and I instantly cringe. But go with his generalisation and you'll find the key to his surprisingly engaging comedy. The tongue-in-cheek division is between Putters and Leavers. Ask someone where their keys are. A Putter will answer “they're where I put them”. A Leaver will reply “Wherever I left them!” Richardson is, unquestionably, a Putter. He's a man for whom everything must be Just So, and since things are usually a lot messier than that allows for, he's also a fairly miserable and disappointed finder of human failings.

While comics who complain about the everyday things that annoy them rarely rate much of a mention, Richardson almost transcends the genre by giving misanthropy a wonderfully genial face. There's no point in hating on his grumpy outlook since he hates it more than you can. He doesn't want to be the guy who spots the imperfection in everything, but he can't help it. Luckily, as he eventually reveals, he's something of a two-faced fellow: in private he's the snarky, irritable guy who has written the show, while in conversation he's an amicable sort who gets along quite well with people. That's why the show is such a pleasant ride. Richardson is honestly likeable and the proverbial type you'd take home to meet your mum. He doesn't like the bitter, bastardy side he's been saddled with any more than she would. But, it turns out, that's the guy who gives him the best material.

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