Dara O'Briain Talks Funny: Live in London is the culmination of Dara's massive 2008 sell out tour of the UK and Ireland. Recorded at the world-famous Hammersmith Apollo before 3,300 fans, ... See full summary »
Jab jab more than a great build but he is on form and has sharp answers for everything
I'm not a massive Jimmy Carr fan because I do find him a bit creepy and snide at times. He is well suited to the panel show type thing where he can hit with his lines but not have to carry it on for long sections. So I was curious to see him in a full stand-up, particularly considering he is often voted high on "best stand-up ever" lists in the UK (perhaps helped by most people not being able to name that many in the UK). His style of stand-up makes it harder for him to play to big crowds and you can see this in his stage because it is small, cluttered and busy partly with furniture that he uses as part of his show, but it does take the pressure off him to be a dynamic stage presence.
This is not a criticism though because he is not a Chris Rock or an Eddie Murphy who plays big and loud but rather he is the one-liner man who is smart and quick-witted. So it is in this show where he has constant jabs to deliver, whether it is part of his structured flow or as part of interacting with his audience. He never really gets into strong blows but he keeps the jabs coming so consistently that he rarely lets his audience slip away from him. He is very crude and deliberately shocking but he makes it all work by just how sharp all of his lines are. What was more impressive to me was how well he handled the audience. I have seen people be heckled or invited discussion with the audience only to fall on their asses really badly. When Carr does it, it is sparkling and he almost has a retort, always has a gag no matter what comes up.
Some will have issues with his superficially rude approach to everything but it is hard to resist when he delivers it so well and with such a high hit rate. The content will limit his appeal and there is still a rather creepy, snipe edge to him that means he doesn't bond with his audience that much but, when he keeps the jabs coming and keeps it consistent then he never has to worry about this. I'm still not him as someone I would regularly watch but certainly here he is on his game and provides a good show even if he jabs more than builds.
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