DVD Review: Tim Vine – Joke-amotive.
Usually, I’d like to try and explain a little about what a DVD such as this contains; talking through features like routines that were especially funny (or not) as well as a general sense of the show, but, alas, Tim Vine’s Joke-amotive has defeated me.
Let me explain. For those of you who don’t know, Tim Vine (brother of BBC2’s middle class whinge-athon host, Jeremy Vine) bases his act rather heavily on puns and wordplay, but more often than not its the type of puns and wordplay that you might get in a decent set of Christmas Crackers. Think of him as less of a Joke-amotive and more of a ‘groan shark’.
Where Vine succeeds though is in the sheer amount of jokes he pulls out of the bag (quite literally in this case), and this is where he defeats me, as what seem like hundreds of jokes fly out of the screen in an unrelenting barrage, with the viewer helpless to resist some daft, often fairly begrudging, laughs.
The problem, not just with Vine but with this type of comedy on a whole, is one of scatter-shot quality, and Vine’s routine takes its most noticeable dips with each utterance of the words “Cue the music”. By the fourth or fifth of these bizarre, detached polyphonic interludes, these words had created a Pavlovian reaction in which I was forced to curl my knees up in front of my eyes just in case of a sudden spasmic cringe. Most of these musical sections are weird without a redeeming punchline, and they rarely resurface in the main act, proving that being weird is not always the same as being funny.
The amount of enjoyment gained from Tim Vine’s Joke-amotive, then, is likely to be down to an individual’s level of endurance (or lack thereof). Milton Jones’ whimsical one liners are bigger and Stewart Francis’ are cleverer, but Vine has fashioned a deceptive niche in big, dumb puns which, when he doesn’t stretch himself too far to find a joke for his punchline, are capable of provoking the odd guilty, tutting, chuckle. If you’re not after anything remotely taxing then Joke-amotive might be worth a look, just don’t expect to be able to handle watching it all in one go.
Saying that though, if Tim Vine: Groan Shark is released this time next year I’ll be expecting some royalties.