City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Benny Boot: Set-Up, Punchline... Pause for Laughter Review

By Gabriel Neil - Posted on 11 August 2011

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Benny Boot

To use an old sports commentating cliché, Australian Benny Boot's show is one of two halves.

The first half is dedicated to a be-wigged Boot playing the part of a comedy-based management seminar leader - cleverly playing the part of the dim pseudo-professional comic with relish, and in the second, Boot parodies both his previous character and himself as a comedian. It's a sort of meta-meta-humour.

Fear not, though, as Benny Boot's show is no dry postmodern intellectual exercise: it is instead a wonderfully goofy take on lazy comedic writing. It's clever, but far from pretentious.

Boot's first character deftly mocks the air of not-very-slick arrogance that motivational speakers exude, generating some wonderful gags with a full-size cardboard cutout of Eddie Murphy and pontificating on what mic is best to use for racist jokes.

This portion ends with Boot's character introducing Boot himself and this is where the laughs really start rolling in. His sloppy delivery, muddled manner and general air of slackerness would usually kill a comedian: in Benny Boot it's a positive boon.

He has a kind of lanky, clumsy good-natured likeableness, so much so that you find yourself laughing at pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth, be it joke, prevarication or self-deprecating giggle, as if you were a friend of his, chatting in the pub. His material spans some brilliant wordplay and silliness. His apparent disorganisation masks the brilliance of his jokecraft, so you find yourself laughing even as he seems to have forgotten his lines.

Benny Boot has to be one of the most naturally funny people I have ever seen on stage He holds the audience in the palm of his hand without them realising and despite his seemingly sloppy amateurishness, it's all a clever ruse: Boot possesses an incredible sharpness of wit.

This show is a masterclass in self-deprecation, silliness and friendly ease of wit. Boot's natural talent and goofy candor combine into one jaw-achingly funny performance cleverly deconstructing the comic's art, whilst at the same time making some brilliantly groan-worthy puns. It's not a show to be missed.

Show Times: 3-29 Aug (not 15 and 22), 21:45

Ticket Prices: £7.00-8.50