Adam Buxton: Kernel Panic

To a certain generation of British people, Adam Buxton is a bit of a legend. His partnership with comedy-brother Joe Cornish spawned not only one of the funniest TV shows of the nineties but also a 6Music show with one of the most loyal cult followings in recent memory. Sadly, those radio days are over but many of us can still get our fix of Doctor Buckles via BUG, the website and sometime travelling-lecture-thingy which is essentially Buxton’s internet digest of the weird and the wonderful.

It’s also, to anyone expecting a wealth of new material, essentially what this show is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but, having seen the latest BUG in London, I was quite disappointed to find that Kernel Panic is exactly the same, presented in the same order but, due its abbreviated hour runtime, with some of the funniest content cut out.

Don’t get me wrong, some strong material has remained in - his analysis of the audiobook of Disney’s Brave, the ‘Reasons to love David Bowie’ montage - but gone are gems like his ‘Summertime Blues’ video or animations like ‘The Counting Song’.

Kernel Panic is still reasonably amusing but it’s disappointing to know that Buxton hasn’t gone to the trouble of devising a special Edinburgh show. With an international audience unfamiliar with his back-catalogue, it’s a step he actually should have taken because, speaking to a couple of members of the audience from New Zealand and Canada, it became clear that neither of them really got any of the jokes, especially those with a basis in the radio show.

Adam Buxton is a superbly funny and original man but it’s not really obvious how good he is from Kernel Panic. A little more new material would have been welcome but even a Best of BUG-style show would have been better than this. There’s a much better Buxton show out there just waiting to be edited together - I should know, I’ve seen it.

Reviews by Tom King


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The Blurb

Cult buffoon, award-winning radio host and tech-lemming Adam Buxton looks within the soul of his laptop and considers how we present ourselves in the net age (he shows stuff he's made and reads out web comments).