Based on a gauge adapted from his previous call-centre telemarketing experience, David O’Doherty rates being a professional stand-up as an eight out of ten, with two points dropped because it can be “kind of stressful sometimes”. It’s a trying job, he says, but it can be easy to forget how comparatively good he (and the rest of us) have it, given the number of atrocities that are at risk of taking place each day throughout the world. It might ultimately be for the best if the human race was to petition Kim Jong Un to launch a nuclear strike to put us all out of our misery.
The material is more long-form than that with which he made his name, but O’Doherty still packs in gags for the 140-character generation
Big Time marks another step in David O’Doherty’s move from the whimsy of his earlier work to the more world-weary tones of his past few shows. Whether it’s discussing the end of the human species, the vacuous nature of PR, or the state of modern Ireland, O’Doherty has developed his own brand of cynicism that balances well his trademark sugary ephemera.
The material is more long-form than that with which he made his name, but O’Doherty still packs in gags for the 140-character generation, including his various app ideas, the Aldi approach to shopkeeping, and a throwaway ditty about famous people performing mundane tasks. And of course there are a few of his signature songs thrown in for good measure. The middle-eight section of the number in which he re-imagines how his life would have played out had he stayed in telemarketing is as succinct a representation of ‘below the line’ online culture as you’re likely to get, while the tune charting his disastrous encounter with a fan named Jessie is catchy in the extreme.
Life for O’Doherty is, on balance, OK. You have to take the funny where you can find it – for audiences Big Time is as good a place to start as any.