In this wild and raucous show, two comedians face off against each other with the aid of the audience. Competing for honour and glory, two comics try to out-funny the other whilst their respective crowds aim to help them on to the finish line in a no-holds barred, outrageous late-night show.
It sounds like a relatively promising format for an after-dark comedy show, but when you combine it with a room full of very drunk people and some below-par comics, the entire experience instead takes on the appearance of a hen party condensed into the space of an hour.
Comedy Rumble does not promise much else than an hour of low-brow entertainment, but Chris Henry and Damien Clark seemed to take this as an invitation to race each other to the across the line of bad taste; there was nary a joke that didn’t revolve around the inherently amusingly nature of bodily fluids.
As the show continued, our comics largely dropped any pretence of showmanship and decided to act as hype-men for the audience, who seemed to enjoy the energy, if not the jokes. Eleanor Conway is a skilled host, but was flanked by two utterly mediocre comedians. She was good at drawing audience members onto the stage, and brought the tone of the show up, whilst allowing her patrons to do the majority of the comedy legwork for her. Still, the night had all the class of a Saturday night party bus and the stale air of organised fun clung heavily to the stage.
The Comedy Rumble combines the flair of an Ayia Napa stag do with the desperate attention-seeking of a Britain’s Got Talent series final. With a different pair of comedians on stage, this show could probably be a lot better. Still, Conway clearly knows her target audience to a tee, and if the Comedy Rumble is a bit of a Ronseal affair then at least it does what it says on the tin.