MICHAEL McIntyre was never going to be a cool, cult comedian, but I’m sure he can live with the ‘shame’ of being popular and mainstream having banked £5m in two years and entered the record books with his 2009 show Hello Wembley.
As my two favourite comedians are Tim Minchin and Stewart Lee, you might expect me to detest McIntyre, but his traditional brand of observational comedy gives me a kind of warm nostalgia – reminding me of my teenage fondness for Ben Elton.
McIntyre and Lee are as different as The Two Ronnies are to Vic n Bob, yet it’s possible to like both. I was truly looking forward to an unchallenging Friday evening in his likeable presence.
After a brief film showing a bald and toothless McIntyre being suited up by a robot, the floppy haired Britain’s Got Talent judge got off to a canny start by gently mocking the latecomers with his deliberately terrible (I hope) Geordie accent which segued into Irish.
Local reference points – Geordie Shore and Parmos – were all present and correct.
Yes, he skipped on to the stage (he can’t not do it now), which was a tad on the naff side, but at least he didn’t do his ‘greatest hits’ and bring out the man drawer routine again.
Although he certainly hasn’t cast his net very far in the quest for material (his children and hotel rooms feature heavily), talking about what he knows best is clearly a winning formula.
McIntyre is on top form when talking about relationships rather than the Olympics and Jubilee – husbands infuriatingly leaving dirty plates “in the zone” of the dishwasher rather than actually in it, pinpointing exactly when a relationship becomes “long term” and his laughably idealised view of parenthood pre-kids.
His knack for physical comedy is also apparent – showing us posh people’s lips that seem to work independently and his numbed face at the dentist.
He’d kept some of his best material about trying to shop online for the encore.
It was, of course, stuff we’ve all noticed before, but I doubt anyone in the audience could’ve spun it into such lucrative comedy gold as McIntyre.