Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stephen Merchant

As far as I know there is just one DVD from this guy. It is an admirable effort. What really shines through is his intelligence, which manifests itself in well timed and varied humour. As a stand up show I was pleasantly surprised.

Stephen gives an air of someone who is a little introverted and on edge, someone who would not be totally comfortable in front of thousands of people (from my experience seeing him on An Idiot Abroad and listening to podcasts). Actually he does a great job of ruining this preconception. He looks very comfortable and is not afraid to loosen up and be a physical comic.

This is a refreshing contrast to Ricky Gervais, who is not the best stand up comedian. There are one or two influences from Ricky’s shows, but Stephen Merchant takes things much further. It really feels like he has gone the extra mile and explored every avenue of his comedy talent.

At times there are some dull parts and some rather tacky jokes. If there is one criticism then I would say he tries a little too hard to fit too much in. He could easy cut some of the material and it would be just as good. Those parts are the very ‘easy jokes’, it can feel like he is trying to impress too much by shoving a joke in wherever he can.

But all in all this is excellent stuff and well worth buying. I’ll certainly be buying any future DVDs he does, which is more than I can say for his comedy partner (actually I’ll probably download anything by Gervais in future more out of curiosity).