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Jimmy Carr Live

by Milo


There was a time when the most overused phrase in the English language was in danger of becoming "please welcome Jimmy Carr". Edinburgh , Parkinson, QI, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Channel 4's notorious Distraction - you name it, Jimmy's immaculately coiffed (and frankly massive - it's Viduka-esque in proportion) head and crystal tipped vocal chords seemed to be adorning it in some way, shape or form.

I can't be the only one who half expected Carr's beau monde Cambridge brogue to sardonically suggest that he "didn't wish to speak out of turn" as I lumbered the poor toilet seat with my ample backside for a ten minute think. Surely? Ok, maybe it's just me, then. Anyway. If you're a fan who is familiar with Carr's work (as opposed to one who's guessing, right? Curse you, the English Language), you'll be unsurprised to hear that his acerbic patter has seen him win fans on both sides of the Atlantic . And therein lies the rub with our hero - he can be quite funny.

Vicious in a polite way, not quite apologetic but vaguely charming nonetheless, Carr excels in the sort of line for which you'd be sitting outside Human Resources' door if you repeated it in the office. That said, he walks a fine line. There's something just a little too self-satisfied about his delivery. I appreciate that this is all part of the act and while that in itself is OK - if I was getting plaudits for standing around saying stuff at an audience that I had in raptures, I'd be pleased with myself too - I'd want a bit more for my money than a range of "set myself up, deliver my gag, set myself up, deliver my gag" one-liners too. 

At times it comes across as an endless stream of casual, though cruelly barbed, put downs that you promise yourself you must remember the next time you encounter an idiot drooling on your girlfriend at a bar. No bad thing in itself, but that's about as far as it seems to go and you'll doubtless have at least one mate yourself who can do it every bit as sharply and without the need for a rehearsed routine. If you're in the market for short, razor sharp observation and a turn of phrase that disposes with societal inconveniences such as not being allowed to laugh at people whose legs don't work - and be honest, the best comedy always has someone you can point and laugh at, that's why it works - then Carr is probably your man.  

Whether you could stick with what amounts to an incessant stream of middle class superiority for over an hour is down to personal taste. I don't like him much. In fact, he's got the sort of weasely quality about him that'd make you want to humiliate him in public if you ever met him. Not punching him, something like slapping him with the back of your hand, or pushing all of his papers out of his clutches and into a puddle and then booting him up the backside when he bent down to pick them up. That said, he still makes me laugh. I can't decide whether or not I'm happy with that.


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