A  Good Catholic Boy

As a recent ex-Catholic, I know there’s a lot of material to be got from the Catholic Church, whether you’re a member or not. Unfortunately, despite the title of his show, this did not seem to have dawned on Massimo. Few jokes were made at the expense of religion - or, put it more simply, few jokes were made. Whenever ‘the message of Jesus Christ’ came up Massimo sounded more like a preacher trying to be down with the kids than someone actually trying to be funny. There’s a good - if pious - punchline somewhere in the biblical mess that makes up the first ten minutes but his exceedingly poor timing condemns it and he then crucifies with repetition. There is no miraculous resurrection to follow.

Perhaps it should have been a relief then that his material moved swiftly away from religion. However, given that Massimo then covered material that was decades out of date - Elton John? Gay? Who knew! 70s-style objectification of women? Hilarious! - it felt more like a tour through Dante’s Inferno. A repeated set piece on ‘taking it up a level’ only sent it spiralling down further. For the final minutes of the set Massimo took it to the ninth circle with an uncomfortable and objectionable routine on Hitler.

Much of Massimo’s material consists of stories about his mother, which is full of affection but without an apparent joke. He claims he stopped using ‘dirty’ jokes to live up to her expectations; the result is a set only a mother could love.

Reviews by Frankie Goodway

New Diorama Theatre

In Our Hands

★★★
Museum of Comedy

Jo Burke: iScream

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

zazU: A Fête Worse Than Death

★★★★
Just the Tonic at The Mash House

1 Given Head

★★★
Just the Tonic at The Mash House

Scott Bennett: About a Roy (Stories About Me Dad)

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Rhys James: Remains

★★★★

The Blurb

Good boy gone wrong! Find out how Canadian stand-up comedian Massimo went from good Catholic boy to whiskey drinking hardcore comedian. ‘A big loud Italian with a disarming soft side’ (Hour Magazine).