Someone should tell Danny McChrystal that having a blokish demeanour and a regional accent doesn’t make you a comedian. You need some jokes.
Far from providing a theory of everything, Scouser McChrystal’s show is merely a theory of how not to do stand-up. To begin with, it seems he wasn’t expecting us. Even if an audience often comes as a surprise at the Fringe it should be a nice surprise, not one that leaves you scrabbling for material from the moment the show starts. McChrystal made weak attempts to procure this material from the audience with some unimaginative questions: ‘Have you been watching the Olympics?’; ‘Do you like TV?’; ‘Where are you from?’, the answer to the latter on one occasion provoking the reaction ‘No jokes there.’
Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any jokes anywhere. McChrystal worked his way through his list of easy targets – priests, Australians, the Microsoft Office paper clip – searching in vain for a punchline before settling for branding each in turn as a ‘f*cking idiot’ followed by a strange high-pitched chuckle. Even Michael McIntyre, perennial dartboard of the bitter comedian, was in the firing line - there McChrystal was pushing his luck. He may not be to everybody’s taste but you don’t see McIntyre asking the audience for the time because he’s run out of material.
In fact, McChrystal had run out of material before he started. He even donated the first 10 minutes to his mate, Andy, who at least had the decency to admit his jokes were uninspired at best. The show’s indubitable highlight was the watch of a man in the back row beeping on cue during a half-hearted Star Trek gag. That’s the kind of timing McChrystal could do with. At least he had the decency to admit that.