Some comedy shows can be slow burners – they introduce a few seemingly unrelated jokes before linking everything together towards the climax of the show, ending on the ultimate punch line. Some start strongly with the best material, winning over the audience early. Others merely bumble along steadily and seemingly randomly, cobbling together a few threads of a theme with the faintest of jokes. Bob Graham’s show was a bizarre mix of all of these, but in the end leant towards the last and weakest of the three.
Work Ethic is basically a show in which Bob Graham talks about all the jobs he has had in the past and then proceeds to express his glee at being unemployed and on the dole, because he has decided that he can’t be bothered working hard – it’s not for him. While Graham is therefore not exactly a role model for society, he does seem to have picked up some good material along the way and shares this with us early on. The theme of jobs continues throughout the set with some homemade Job Top Trumps, but while these are quite fun, the gig moves from the realms of humour towards self gratification. Graham rattles through each of his jobs explaining why they were good or bad, comparing them with each other for no apparent comical reason and the audience is often left wondering why he left each one.
Graham rambled and blundered on through this mishmash of ideas for most of the hour and while there were some genuinely funny moments contained throughout, when he tries to tie everything up at the end, he doesn’t quite pull it off. Nevertheless, the audience was consistently entertained, even if it wasn’t necessarily comically, so if you fancy an afternoon of slightly confusing maths, a hearty laugh or two and even the chance to play Graham at his own Top Trumps game, then this is the gig for you.