Those are the sorts of “jokes” you won’t get at Jeremy’s show. The sort of jokes you get at Jeremy’s show are ones where he’s got an issue with the world, or where he’s got an idea on how the world could be run better. Jeremy takes the angry rants of a guy who’s a little bit pissed, gets right up in your face with them but damn it if he doesn’t also make them bloody funny.
Jeremy describes his comedy as if you got into a conversation with a guy at the bar and he was a little intense. He would also be a funny fucker.
The night I saw Jeremy he had a sign-language interpreter there for a group of hearing impaired people. Now, aside from anything else I am a huge fan of anything that makes comedy/the arts more accessible so I thought this was a marvellous thing. There were however two minor drawbacks.
1. A lot of the crowd was hearing impaired. This meant that when they laughed they didn’t make the same level of noise as would be expected which meant some of Jeremy’s jokes may have sounded like they landed flat. I was sitting near the hearing impaired group and I can confirm they were enjoying themselves immensely. But it did change the vibe.
2. The signer could have been mildly off-putting. Though stand-up is largely an aural medium, there is certainly a visual component to it. Some of that was lost when you took your eye off Jeremy and onto the sign-language interpreter.
That said, these minor quibbles are just that, minor. Jeremy even works the interpreter into the show brilliantly. And, I did keep my eye on the interpreter and both of them actually had comic timing. I was well impressed.
One of the treats with Jeremy’s comedy is he often describe his mental process when writing gags. This is an excellent device because it takes the audience with the comic, we see how they have arrived at the thoughts and gags that they have. It’s not a magician ruining a trick, so much as a magician explaining why the trick is magical and getting twice the positive response. You could make a case for this being necessary when you deal with religion, politics etc but it doesn’t seem to be a common method, and it’s one the crowd appreciates.
There’s some material I’m not a huge fan of, some parts where he’s almost too clever by half, but the crowd still loves it.
I said in my review of Jeremy last year the following:
“You should know what you’re getting with an Elwood show. It’s going to be political, and it will be controversial. It won’t be shocking comedy, he’s beyond that. But he’ll go to places that you shouldn’t talk about at dinner parties. Sex, politics and religion. And whether you agree with his points or not, he’s usually found the funny and delivered it in just the right way.”
And that still is entirely true. It will be controversial issues, delivered non-controversially and in an amusing way.
If you want comedy for your brain, then Elwood is your guy. It’s a great show, again.
Even if I’m a failed ideologue, I still think you should listen to me and get along.
Foxglove Starlight Ballroom, Wellington, 13-17 May, 7.00pm