A SURE sign that the observational stand-up is hitting home is when the guffaws are coupled with mutterings of “You do that!”.
And so it was at Michael McIntyre’s second date at the arena on Saturday night, the second of five in all by the end of November.
Only Lee Evans can match that, which is an interesting comparison. The hyperactive sweater spent years on the stand-up circuit, working his way to the top. Yet, last year McIntyre seemed to come from nowhere. A word-of-mouth DVD success and the posh father of two has become Britain’s biggest touring comic. Like the new Peter Kay. Peter (o) Kay (yar), perhaps.
Like Evans and Kay, his style is observational, from gym etiquette to morning breath. It’s not original. Sometimes his stories don’t end with a necessary punch. But one can’t imagine any one of the 8,000 people who’d forked out £30 each, left the venue disappointed. Some were even clutching one of his slogan T-shirts off the merchadise stand: ‘Skipping is magnificent’ and ‘I’m absolutely gazeeboed’.
I’d like to know exactly how many of the £60 dressing gowns they’ve shifted on this tour. And then sit down for a chat with those that had, to discuss regret of the impulse buy.
The routines that produced the said slogans were missing. Thankfully. McIntyre wasn’t repeating material. Well, maybe just the once -- the Google search line. Oh and the Jacko/Swine Flu quip. And maybe his fat Chinese look - but that’s his signature gag, yes?
It was a worry, having appeared on our TV screens again and again for most of the year.
No, it was new, in the main, and he’d made the effort to be current and local: Sol Campbell and Robin Hood both get a mention.
Another sign that the observational comic is hitting home is when one wonders why no-one else had thought of it:The shuffling arena audiences do to get to their seats; thinking playing Wii tennis has any bearing on the real game; restaurant etiquette; and an inspired routine on cupboard spices.
Michael McIntyre is Britain’s best comic - even if we can’t understand why.