Ed Gamble used to be a fat. It’s a shock to us all, as he addresses his audience with a chiselled charisma. The charisma isn’t new however – it’s Ed Gamble’s 11th Fringe, and you can tell. Not in his face – he moisturises don’t you know – but in his polished delivery.
This is light-hearted humour at its best.
A large chunk of Stampede is about his healthy eating, and what Gamble terms “the cauliflower conspiracy” whereby all carbs are replaced with vegetables. Despite being a topic that bores most, Gamble’s wit manages to extract more out of it than you think: the best of which is him likening the equipment chosen to mash up vegetables to the British class system.
Despite many amusing analogies, as a section it drags on for slightly too long. “You’re wondering if this whole show is about cauliflowers, aren’t you?” Gamble asks knowingly. In truth, the rest of his set raises the bar considerably. As jokes and tangents go from strength to strength, Gamble goes from ‘funny’ to ‘hilarious’.
He tackles the everyday with an uproarious energy. Retelling the conversation he had as his girlfriend attempts to remember the name of the fourth Beatle leaves the audience in stitches. As does his lengthy joke regarding his “Bulldog for men” moisturiser, which then turns into a glorious logistical assessment of how one could moisturise a Bulldog.
While his material regarding the real meanings of “pussy” and “balls” feels slightly unoriginal, Gamble finds uniqueness in his gestures and an invocation of the hashtag #pussysoldiers (see the show to discover the context). What’s more, despite being predominantly observational (a brief impression of Michael McIntyre elicits a roar), his comic analysis of modern-day hypocrisies manages to make a deeper point.
This is light-hearted humour at its best. Gamble has increasingly been on our TV screens and this set proves that he’s bound to be on them a lot more. There’s a cauliflower comedy to come, perhaps.