Nic Wright

DVD review: Josh Widdicombe – And Another Thing

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“And another thing”, along with “what is the deal with…” and “I don’t know about you…”  is one of those cliché statements you associate with stand-up comedians.

The mildly irate, bemoaning-the-little-things sort of comedians, ever incredulous at the banalities of everyday life.

As a title for Josh Widdicombe’s DVD, it does exactly what is says on the tin. A regular face on the telly and star of Channel 4’s Paralympic spin-off show The Last Leg, Widdicombe has enjoyed a sharp rise through the ranks of comedy new-bloods recently.

Though genial enough, the bottom line is there is little to set Widdicombe apart from the splurge of curmudgeonly, hair-cut-wearing little fellas currently flooding the comedy market.

A little sincerity would go a long way; it seems difficult to believe that someone would get quite so flustered about the things Widdicombe bemoans, had they not had a DVD’s worth of material to find.

Waiters in posh restaurants, trains, pub chains, and the other oft-lamented subjects are all covered, commented on rather than effectively lampooned.

In the absence of a unifying theme or thread, the grumpy young man skims from gripe to gripe, stringing them together with the loosest, mumbliest of links.

Most tellingly of all, perhaps, is that despite performing to a large audience, primed for recording, rarely is a belly-laugh heard, and rarer still, applause.

Whittled down to a shorter set, Widdicombe’s occasionally sharp bits of observation probably wouldn’t get quite so lost in swathes of filler, shrieked into the microphone like some sort of observational siren, perched on a mid-size theatre stage near you, lulling casual comedy fans to their doom.

As it stands however, Widdicombe’s material just doesn’t comfortably stretch to a full.

A little bit much to stomach in one go, his constant exasperation, and forever-rocketing pitch, is wearying. Like a cheese-grated to the soul.  Which is a shame; left to mature a little longer, Widdicombe might’ve naturally evolved, found his feet, carved out his own identity.

Pushed into a hasty DVD release however, the powers that be, keen to promote their sleeper hit show, have essentially hung him out to dry with an act that, really, just doesn’t merit one.