Paul McDaniel and David Callaghan’s free show hits the Fringe in a less than impressive style with a low quality humour that does little in the way of entertainment. McDaniel’s drawl and monotonous personality does not do his comedy any favours, whilst he attempts to mask awkward silences with a series of bizarre, guttural grunting sounds. Worse yet is his repeated use of ‘I want to talk about….’ to introduce a new topic of interest, to the point that I was unsure if he was being deliberately unfunny or not. The Northern Irish comedian’s best joke is a diluted comment on bigotry that does not save the rest of his time on the stage. His segment ends with a series of painful literary pun jokes, and an original poem titled ‘For da kidz’ that sounds like Christopher Walken reciting The Cat In The Hat whilst on LSD.
In fact, I found McDaniel’s act so bad that I needed a drink to get through it (and it still didn’t help), whilst Callaghan saved it from being a one-star quality performance. Callaghan comes across as witty, quick and natural in the flow of his routine (though this is probably helped when held in comparison to McDaniel), using self-deprecating humour that, at times, feels like just a get-back at his ex-girlfriend. Callaghan has great potential to become a much better comedian, though he would do better to be less unsure of himself in his performance. Though his act does come across as nervous at points, however, he is confident enough to deliver some good punchlines, including a few memorable ones at the expense of Piers Morgan. For a solo performance, Callaghan is far more enjoyable, but together the act cannot extinguish the memory of McDaniel’s excruciating stand-up, which I found a real let down for the evening. Though Callaghan’s comedy is commendable, I would not recommend this show unless you’re prepared to endure half an hour of worn-out Whitney Houston jokes that leave you cringing and eying up the venue’s exit.