When Tom Stade walks on stage you can tell he’s at home. Cowboy shirt, booming voice and attitude to spare, Stade commands the stage like a rock star. It’s with this boisterous attitude that we get an hour of loud mouthed, unapologetic comedy that the Canadian has become well known for.
Despite his somewhat ostentatious stage presence, you can tell that Stade is an extremely clever and witty man.
Despite his somewhat ostentatious stage presence, you can tell that Stade is an extremely clever and witty man. He’s not someone who solely relies on his personality to entertain his audience; his observational humour, ranging from daytime TV to immigration, is cleverly crafted, with his personality merely supporting his gags rather than being them.
While for the most part his comedy is witty, he’s by no means afraid to delve into the cruder, more offensive depths of his repertoire. A lesser showman would perhaps lose his crowd at this point, but with his no nonsense confidence and more often than not being the butt of his jokes, he more than gets away with it.
If there’s one thing I’d have to call Slade out on it’s his swearing, which Slade isn’t the only culprit of at this year’s Fringe. Of course I have nothing against swearing; I use swear words all the time. But there’s a subtle art to it, and comedians like Stade need to realise that saying fuck every sentence (I kid you not) is by no means a substitution for comedy. While Armando Ianucci and Peter Capaldi make curse words sound like Shakespeare, in Stade’s performance it becomes off-putting and takes away any emphatic power that his swearing may add.
Yet his swearing proves merely a distraction in what is otherwise an hour of solid, confident stand-up. This isn’t necessarily for the light-hearted or the easily offended, but this is a veteran comedian who more than understands his late night audience, having them in fits of laughter by the end.