So, the title of this show doesn’t lie. Or rather, it only lies a little bit. “The intensely charming” Jack Campbell, English Comedian of the Year 2014 is likely to be seen on Live at the Apollo one day, receiving great applause from all. He’s hilarious and he’s not going to scare your mum. By contrast, Daniel Nicholas is edgier and almost instantly divides the audience’s opinion as he rocks erratically against his microphone stand. The man sat next to me tells Nicholas that his angsty stare makes him feel nervous. Nicholas reminds me of Noel Fielding, so I’m happy, although other audience members look as though they’d have preferred Noel Edmonds. The show is split in two with each artist performing a half hour set. Given how different in style the performers are, the show lacks cohesiveness although as an opportunity to see emerging comedians it’s a great format.
I’d definitely watch out for Nicholas and Campbell’s future work because this show is pretty darn good.
Nicholas begins the show with a mixture of one liners, “longer jokes” including a story about an owl and a bit of interpretive dance. Though it’s only the one liners that receive substantial laughs from the crowd, his creativity is remarkable. The aforementioned story about an owl burgling his home wouldn’t be out of place in a Filmcow sketch or an episode of The Mighty Boosh. There’s some standard audience interaction thrown in, at which point I am selected to have a song written for me. I think I can remember the lyrics:
Emily’s Theme Tune
Emily, Emily, Emily, Emily, Emily (repeat ad infinitum)
The audience all join in. I’m crying with laughter by the second minute of the song and decide that I’ll use it to soundtrack my life on the off chance that I’m given a sitcom in the future. Before long, we move on to Jack Campbell, leaving everyone bewildered by the half hour of pure surrealism that we’ve all been witness to.
Campbell is far warmer and more accessible and is undeniably funny. His observational humour is especially strong, with lines about horny 17 year old boys and taxi-obsessed students that raise some knowing laughs. I could watch Campbell for an hour easily; everything about his set is appealing and watchable and he’s an immensely talented comic. There’s not the same element of madcap mayhem that Nicholas’s half-hour provides but that’s a benefit in many ways as there’s no awkward tension in the room during Campbell’s set.
The format of These Boyz Need Therapy is a nice way to introduce these two comedians to a large audience. There are two different styles of comedy up for grabs here in one neatly packaged performance and although I’d sooner recommend the show to a fan of alternative comedy, there’s enough substance to attract a range of people. I’d definitely watch out for Nicholas and Campbell’s future work because this show is pretty darn good.