Here’s the thing: if you are going to base a stand up show around ways in which you and your father are different, it had better be something pretty special to avoid falling into cliché.
In a city where stand-up comedy can be found in any room fit for human habitation – and indeed many that are not – you could certainly do better with your time and money.
Sadly, Christian O’Connell fails to produce anything particularly ground-breaking. There are the classic “back in the seventies, men were real men” jokes, interspersed with some fairly standard issue stuff about the difficulties of raising children and maintaining a marriage. We also get some none too surprising material concerning his hatred for the teenage boys who will later date his young daughters which feels a little old. At times, O’Connell’s material is so predictable that you can almost recite his punchlines along with him.
Nonetheless, there are some big laughs here and there, and occasional moments of genuine tenderness. O’Connell is at his best when regaling the audience with personal anecdotes. He, unsurprisingly for a radio DJ, is an excellent storyteller and keeps the audience engaged with his amusing asides. His presence onstage is engaging and his interaction with the audience well judged. There is the impression that, had he a better premise, he could produce an hour’s worth of excellent entertainment. Sadly, however, this set misses the mark.
The show is not awful. Only once or twice did I feel the urge to glance at my watch and there are many amusing moments. But in a city where stand-up comedy can be found in any room fit for human habitation – and indeed many that are not – you could certainly do better with your time and money.