Ho! Ho! Ho!
DVDs are big business this Christmas. Whether it’s the box set of Frozen Planet or spreading the word of The Wire (again), they have always been a source of big present-buying and gathering around the goggle box as a family, friendship group or simply random Boxing Day gathering. This year, more than ever before, there is a barrage of stand-up comedy DVDs. Solo shows, more club sets than you’d catch on the Michael McIntyre Roadshow, but carefully crafted shows around a theme or singular sense of humour. To be shared. It’s a cliché for a reason –?there really is something for everyone. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin…
Right, let’s kick off against the myth that there could not possibly be a DVD you could give to Granny that you’ll find funny, will not offend the in-laws and is still suitable for the toddlers running around and won’t teach them any bad words. Let me introduce you to Milton Jones. His show, Lion Whisperer Live, incorporates all of the surreal travels from his many Radio 4 shows, the fabulous creativity of a mind that would explode Douglas Adams’ hitch-hikers’ mind, and that rarest of comedy commodities – a ‘U’ certificate.
Conversely, if the last thing you want is to spend time with the brood (nothing personal, I don’t know you, but you might just have one of those families) and the turkey debacle just about sent you spare, you may find that requesting Andy Parsons’ Gruntled DVD or Tommy Tiernan’s Crooked Man disc was one of the best Christmas decisions you ever made. Both rail well against the world; One the epitome of the English bulldog with topical news and his weekly gristle on Mock The Week –?that’s Andy Parsons. The other, Tommy T, is one of Ireland’s brightest comedy stars, recently co-headlined Laughs In The Park with Eddie Izzard and Ross Noble and mixes the broad attacks against Ireland’s government articulately with familial panic and almost situational slapstick. Hide in your room with these 18 certificate bad boys.
“…Davies’ show is hilarious, touching and utterly unique”
In terms of presents that will be prized to give, one of my favourites from last year’s Edinburgh Festival – and nominated for the big Edinburgh Comedy Award – is Greg Davies’ Firing Cheeseballs At A Dog. Best known on TV for his turns as the bombastic teacher in The Inbetweeners and as current sidekick on Rhod Gilbert’s Ask Rhod, Davies’ show is hilarious, touching and utterly unique.
Other stalwart successes from the comedy festivals this year come in the form of Richard Herring’s Christ On A Bike and Adam Hills’ live show. Herring’s no holds barred mix of intellect with teenage boy’s sniggers has won many fans, and Hills’ laid back Australian with sharp comedic instincts have wowed critics in recent years.
Of course, there are also the big shows that have already toured here, playing the Brighton Centre. Lee Evans is popular for a reason –?he delivers his mugging everyman every time, which is what you get from Roadrunner. Alan Carr is equally mainstream but in his own way, sticking with personal anecdotes and oozing best mate appeal ans feelgood factor in Spexy Beast.
It could be that you want all of these, or that you think one of these will suit a pal or relative. As live comedy has grown in popularity on the TV so has everyone become more receptive to watching it and keeping their best and favouritist in a drawer to be brought out in times of dire need. To be honest, however your Christmas goes, an antidote to the come down that follows could be the best pressie ever.
All DVDs available now.