Live at the Apollo (2004– )
"Jack Dee Live at the Apollo" (original title)

TV Series  -  Comedy
7.8
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6 September 2004 (UK)  »

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Live at the Apollo  »

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£500,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

Unfunny, obvious and forced
8 September 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As the title suggests, this series is Jack Dee, live and he's at the Apollo. The audience has a few stars in it at the front but is mostly just normal punters. After opening up the show and warming the audience up, he gives way to guests to come onto the stage and do their stuff. The strangest thing about the whole affair is just how unfunny it is. I've been to many stand up shows and can confirm that there are a lot of good stand up comedians around but unfortunately they have not been invited to this programme. With the glitzy presentation, this wants to be a big affair but it doesn't work mainly because the material is as weak as the delivery.

The episode I saw had Joan Rivers as the main guest, with Dee opening and closing the show. The opening ten minutes are pretty poor – the jokes are obvious and pretty poor and the audience know it as much as I did. Dee can't get with the audience as well as he needs to. This can be seen in the reaction shots where you can see lots of unimpressed people sitting behind the couple that are laughing. Actually, the most notable thing about the reaction shots and laughter track is how badly done they are, you need to see it to understand but it is obvious that few of them are actually live – they have been edited in and around to support some of the weaker gags. Rivers made things a bit better but I didn't find her that funny – but at least her volume meant I stopped falling asleep. Dee returned at the end to read out some texts from the audience and yes, it was as unfunny as you imagine it could be.

Overall this is a big comedy night out but it was roundly unfunny with the material mostly being obvious and misjudged and the comedians really struggling to engage their audience. The edited laughter is very badly done at times and it just made me realise how weak a show it must have been even for those actually there. Dee could have used this to bring out 2 or 3 up and coming comedians with imagination and wit, but he didn't, playing it safe with glitz and obvious material – a real shame and a pretty poor show all round.


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