Ian Fox: The Unsearchables is an interactive quiz show that asks the questions you can’t Google. By this Fox means questions with no definite answers, such as “what is he thinking?” or “why is that man shouting medieval religious rhetoric on The Royal Mile?” By interactive, Fox means there is audience interaction and television screens hooked up to a laptop.
The format works surprisingly well in coaxing a lethargic, mid-Sunday afternoon audience out of their shells
Fox’s brand of comedy is very conversational, chatter with the audience filling in the gaps between his unassuming punchlines. This style is applied to an hour long show that is more Buzzfeed article than it is conventional stand-up. Every ten seconds in the first of three rounds a picture pops up onto the screen, enticing Fox to explain the humour behind a group of boys pretending to bum each other in the street, or why a cafe would think it a good idea to share premises with a fishmongers. In the second round Fox answers a series of searching, almost truth or dare questions with American comic Spring Day. In the third round, the audience is offered sweets in return for finding Where’s Wally on the mean streets of Manchester.
Whilst this could come across a little gimmicky, the format works surprisingly well in coaxing a lethargic, mid-Sunday afternoon audience out of their shells and as a structure for stand-up. The pictures are well chosen and, particularly a smoking mime on a telephone, consistently produce laughs. Fox’s stand-up, although not overly exciting or edgy, is well rehearsed, gently spoken and filled with a number of pleasing regionalisms. As a way to while away an hour, you could definitely do worse.