The most disappointing revelation of Jimmy Bird’s stand-up routine is that the title is more than a little bit misleading. There isn’t anything particularly peculiar about his mind at all. In fact, what he labels as “peculiar”, you or I might not even consider mildly idiosyncratic.
Pushing only twenty minutes the underdeveloped material feels cramped, hurried, and a little bit claustrophobic.
That being said, some observational skits are darkly amusing. After a comical shtick about his previous girlfriend who never stopped wanting to get out and “do things”, Bird ignites a few rib-tickling confessions about wanting to see more hard-hitting and true-to-life plot points in children’s television and he succeeds with a laughably crude anecdote about “Big Linda”, a gruff and macho girl who he took home in an act of tragic desperation.
The material is generally safe and self-contained, with jokes ranging from single-father parenthood to recollections of teenage anxiety and a brief revelation about the worst way he could possibly imagine himself dying (even though his friends would probably claim, “it’s what he would have wanted”). These thought-processes are at times funny and engaging, but unfortunately Bird’s presentation and delivery – centre-stage throughout – are too stilted to give the gags the energy they require. He is occasionally awkwardly static, and takes to checking his watch a little bit too often. One is forced to wonder how much he truly relishes being on stage.
The biggest problem here is length. Pushing only twenty minutes (Bird is bolstered by three short supporting acts preceding him), the underdeveloped material feels cramped, hurried, and a little bit claustrophobic. Were it given a bit more space to breathe, and Bird able to grant the set a more rigid structure, it may be more than capable of spreading its wings and soaring.