Stand up is a challenging format at the best of times - but the one-liner comedian often seems to be the ultimate masochist in a field where self-inflicted pain is surely part of the deal. Coming up with a fifty-minute set consisting solely of single concept jokes, with no overarching narrative, no storytelling and no padding is not for the faint-hearted, all of which makes Richard Pulsford’s achievement all the more impressive.
Any audience will find plenty to laugh at and most will find a lot.
Having twice been included in the ten best jokes of the Fringe, Pulsford has returned in 2022 with growing acclaim. His show Richard Pulsford: A bit more Rich goes a long way to cementing his reputation.
Serving up nearly one hundred and forty jokes in fifty minutes, Richard’s delivery is fast but not hectic, he led the audience cheerfully through topics from politics and religion to parenthood, spinning each into a crafted set of jokes which hit the mark more often than any decent comic should expect. Although it was early in his run, Richard’s assured delivery and mastery of his material meant that the laughs kept coming at a steady pace. The occasional misstep is to be expected and there were a couple of dull moments but there were so many good simple jokes that the misses were quickly forgotten in the blur of laughs. The act relies heavily on puns but doesn’t have the same knowing childishness of someone like Tim Vine; instead Pulsford's style is pretty mainstream - there was nothing here to offend or upset - he is an assured performer, more in the style of Gary Delaney.
If you are looking to criticise an act like this, then you’d have to say that some references were a little dated, Pulsford himself admits in the set that a younger audience might not pick up on some of the references, but that’s not to characterise him as some sort of dinosaur, but rather a comedian who knows his audience and has shaped his act accordingly.
Richard Pulsford delivers fifty minutes of quick, original and funny jokes. Any audience will find plenty to laugh at and most will find a lot.