Man 1, Bank 0

Patrick Combs once deposited a junk mail cheque for $95,093.35 into his bank account and it cleared. Combs presents a comic tale of accidental fraud from the mid-90s, a jovially delivered 'up yours' to bankers who, even in those pre-credit-crunch days, apparently had it coming. Man 1, Bank 0 is delivered with an array of props and visual aids, from receipts to clips from old TV appearances, that should put to bed any doubts about the truth of the story. The tension of the show is spoiled somewhat by the fact that its protagonist's eventual triumph is right there in the title, but Combs has just enough charm about him to turn his stroke of luck into a cheering, if not entirely compelling, narrative.

There's something a little off about his delivery though and it has its roots in Combs's profession. The fact that Combs is just an average Joe and not a comedian is a large part of his appeal. Man 1, Bank 0 attempts to trade on this 'It could be you!' factor, but it doesn't quite ring true: Combs isn't a celebrity by any means, but since the events that this show relates took place he has become a motivational speaker. Every time Combs invites the crowd to revel in his own story of one-upmanship and easy gain he walks a thin line between soliciting laughs and priming you for his self-improvement programme. Still, keep your wits about you and you can have some fun with Combs without feeling the need to sign up for his Seven Step Shortcut To Your Dreams.

The Blurb

Amazing true story: a man deposits a fake $95,093.35 junk mail cheque into his bank account as a joke. It clears. Outrageously funny David and Goliath adventure tale of Man vs Bank. ‘Priceless’ (Time Out, NY).