Guest post by Nadia Ramoul
Rob Delaney is a funny guy. A seriously funny guy. If someone on your Twitter feed hasn’t RT’d a couple of his peons to Adele or ‘quotes’ from Mitt Romney then truly you have earned my deepest sympathies because you my friend are missing out. At the risk of sounding like the most crawly sycophant; his tweets brighten up my otherwise doom and gloom feed like a gleaming SAD lamp in a poorly lit room. Imagine then, if you will, my unadulterated fangirlish joy when he announced some shows at the teensy intimate Soho theatre. Creepy, right? I’m not ashamed one little bit.
I first came across Rob Delaney by reading his Vice columns which varied from choice chat-up lines to a sinister blow by blow account of Katy Perry’s ‘Last Friday Night’ which did the internet rounds. Ho ho, good stuff. But he really struck a chord with me when I was sent ‘On Depression & Getting Help,’ a blunt and bleakly funny look at unipolar depression with a firm positive message that I’d recommend everyone give a read.
It’s this positive undertone to occasionally pretty grim stuff that makes his comedy so effective, translating well through both monologues on stage and one-liners on Twitter. I don’t want to hear about how we’re all terrible people going straight to hell, nor do I want Russel Howard-y relentless joy. I want cheery sex and poop jokes. Clever poop jokes, mind. Poop jokes that make me cackle at an uncomfortable volume and swish my pint about to and fro so much so that those sat next to me begin to edge away in fear. I want to see someone celebrate the occasionally rubbish bits of life while laughing heartily at it (not just poop jokes. But quite a few.)
Being there for the first night of a week of shows I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but as every London date had sold out the place was heaving and luckily a jolly mother- son combo on a night out graciously let us hog their table. Thanks guys! The set was a well honed hour or so of meandering stories with punch lines scattered gratuitously throughout; any first night jitters Delaney may have had were well disguised by observations on folk who brag about McDonald’s only ever being a last option and what to do if offered a hand job from John Travolta (accept it, obvs…) Belly laughs were had throughout until my stomach threatened mutiny. I got my poop jokes (and sweat and puke thrown in too) alongside some sobering yet ludicrous scenes from rehab centres and jail and cockle-warming views on family life. Ahhh…
A notable absence from the live show is the political humour that his Twitter account is rife with; dear old Mitt didn’t get a look in. While this may seem weird to online followers, the set worked perfectly fine without it, demonstrating that although his fame originated in Twitter, Rob Delaney can really hold his own without the 140 character confine and easy material from technologically stunted politicians.
This first night in Soho was a massive success all round, and probably one of the last times he’ll be performing in a venue so small. The audience hooted with laughter throughout soo much so that my friend and I were in considerable pain by the end. If you get a chance, he’s back in the UK in April, and you’d be a steaming idiot to not go see him.