Tim Lee’s stand-up show is based around the premise that he was about to become a scientist but then, after receiving his PhD, decided to become a comedian. Although Lee is obviously an intelligent man, his dry, glacially slow humour leads to a very dull set.
Lee’s attempt to force everyday things and pop culture references into scientific formulas is a decent concept, however it’s delivered in such a deadpan manner that any possible humour that could have been sucked out of it is lost. Lee is supported by a cheap, homemade Powerpoint presentation and his use of it is underwhelming. Visual aids can often help a set, but Dave Gormon this is not. Lee is so understated that the choice to have Powerpoint make jokes for him was probably wise as the computer screen has more impact and rapport with the audience than he does. It also doesn’t help that the subjects that he chooses for his material is hackneyed and has been covered by other comedians in far more interesting ways. Jokes on alcohol and his reaction to coming to Edinburgh don’t work and stay obstinately in safe territory. It also doesn’t help that his material is totally unconnected. One could find similar fodder by Google searching and assorting it randomly on a page.
This is not to say that the show does not have any merits. The material is genuinely intelligent while having very little interesting elements to recommend it and on the few occasions he tries something new the set is brought out of the doldrums. This is not enough to save Lee’s set, however, and he turns out to be far more scientist than comedian.