Gary Delaney has been touring all over the UK for months. Now, at long last, he has arrived in Edinburgh, and he is well worth seeing. This is a show that is dumb but fun. It’s a show filled with groaning laughter and “oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-believe-I’m-laughing-at-this” gasps.
There’s Something About Gary keeps the audience at once on their toes and falling over with laughter.
His set is chock full of hilarious one-liners and clever wordplay, and jokes ranging from highbrow to lowbrow – and then to whatever comes after that (just “cheeky”?) Delaney is clever and quick with his jokes, which are told rapid-fire, in a similar style to that of the late great Mitch Hedberg. Given the huge numbers of top-notch jokes that Delaney has on tap, it’s clear that he’s been on tour for a long time now.
In this show, Delaney makes use of slideshows from time to time, something like the comic Demetri Martin might do. The effect is something like a really wild board meeting. Delaney, the boss up on stage, tries to take the piss out of just about everything he can manage. He brandishes a laser pointer. He giggles into his microphone. Up on stage, laughing, he sounds like a big bearded baby – a possible British Seth Rogen?
The slideshows are fun, even if Delaney occasionally comes across like that cheeky mate who wants to take you through every last funny thing he’s ever seen on the Internet. To put it this way, no one could possibly fault him for not having enough enthusiasm. Still, the slideshow bits were far from a slog – only you might sometimes find yourself wishing, especially toward the slideshows at the end of the show, that he would just stick to regular jokes. The regular jokes he tells are truly funny, and nearly all of them seemed to land. The only jokes he told which didn’t seem to stick were a string of pedophile jokes, which – judging by Delaney’s reaction – maybe just weren’t the right material for Edinburgh crowds.
Still, aside from the few jokes that missed their mark, Gary Delaney managed to present a set of otherwise fantastic material. He is definitely one of the stronger standups at Fringe this season. He made old formulas feel fresh, and he was consistently unexpected and inventive throughout his set. There’s Something About Gary keeps the audience at once on their toes and falling over with laughter.