Awkward and slight in stature, from the outset Chris Stokes doesn’t inspire confidence. Do not be fooled, however, by his seemingly timid façade – there is definitely more to him than meets the eye.
We all know the saying ‘honesty is the best policy’. Stokes feels some people exploit this; that there are people who appear nice but when you really stop and think about it, they are in actuality being rude. Throughout the course of the show, he dismantles these people who ‘tell it like it is’, explaining why he thinks they are the least equipped people to do so.
Another central theme of the show is his frustration that no one ever takes him seriously because of his appearance. To illustrate this, he effectively shares experiences from his life which include some pretty silly advice from strangers. I found the stories from his childhood particularly entertaining, namely ones involving his long-time friend, Adam.
Stokes’ unassuming nature coupled with his casual, almost deadpan delivery makes for quite a low energy set, but his material is extremely smart, razor-sharp and well thought out. He strikes the ideal balance of honesty and humour to get his message and story across.
Even though his style of comedy is more subtle and understated, it is still very funny. The show mainly focuses on him critiquing others but he also acknowledges his shortcomings, which I found particularly entertaining.
The most endearing thing about this show is Stokes’ ability to garner empathy from his audience. He comes across as an extremely likeable and genuine person and someone whom you just cannot help but root for. His plight may not necessarily be a universal one but he still gets the crowd to care.
Chris Stokes might not tickle everyone’s funny bone; possibly due to the overtly personalized nature of his show. Those who are or have been in his shoes, however, will certainly identify with him and enjoy it.