Ben Smith is a unique breed of comedian, drawing on his by no means small talents as a rapper and lyricist to create something of genius in his stand-up. Though the man professes that the geek lies strong within him, Smith is as smooth and suave as could be, even turning a spilled cup of water and the subsequent arrival of a man with a mop into a part of the show, easily as hilarious as the scripted components. Very quickly our sides are aching; endless convulsions of laughter are hard to fight back.
A self-confessed failed rap star, Smith takes the genre's standard worst offences and mocks them gloriously. It's hugely satisfying as it feels like he is speaking out against the misuse of a skill he clearly loves.
Like his sister, novelist Zadie Smith, Doc Brown is talented with words and wordplay, which is evident in the densely packed show, drawing laughs from all levels of humour. One wonderful example of this diversity is his explaining European policy to his nether regions in order to calm down and continue chatting up ladies in clubs. Along the same lines are his digs at the horror of getting caught 'slipping', or not being gangster enough.
As a mixed-race Londoner, of Jamaican and Irish descent, Smith also has freedom to play with some delicate topics. As a clearly level-headed guy, racism is also a notably comfortable area to go into, especially in a rap which is again a mockery of haters who go to far. In fact, most of his criticisms and jokes are directed at ignorance and stupidity, which is incredibly refreshing to hear. Where many black comedians might feel compelled to say a certain something on race, Doc Brown makes it his own to great avail.
Discussing the plight of dogs since the 60s, a modern rapper's formula for success, the questionable friends his daughters have been making and the fascists of Topman, this is quite possibly the most articulate, intelligent source of laughs you will ever encounter in the medium of rap – mostly because the rest of the rappers out there don't like getting laughed at so much. A gentleman in high-tops and charming stage presence, you'd be a fool to miss Doc Brown this Fringe.