Iain Connell is one of my comedy heroes. Most famous for creating and starring in Burnistoun alongside Robert Florence, this TV sketch show is responsible for the world famous elevator sketch (Eleven!) and has given Scotland some of our strangest TV characters. It’s maybe best described as the alternative Chewin the Fat. Over the past year the pair had moved into new territory debuting their show Uncles at the Glasgow Comedy Festival before touring it around the UK. This had a more stand up feel than their sketch show, taking the form of observational comedy as a dialogue between the two characters. So it is no surprise that the next step would be for one or both to move into more traditional stand up. Iain Connell is the first of the two to make the leap.
He’s honest from the off that this show isn’t going to be good tonight, Work in Progress means it’ll be good later on. It’s only the second gig of his stint at the Fringe, so he’s still very fresh to this type of performance and his excitement early doors leads to some of the best jokes of the set.
Once into the material he starts with his worries about sex education being introduced to his kids in Primary 2, and the childish hilarity that the letters home from their school brings him. From here he moves into his own adolescence and his long held inadequacies.
The section on video games falls flat, maybe it’s a little to specific for those that haven’t played Call of Duty, myself included. But this is made up for by a bit about nervousness and sleep deprivation induced by the hiring of a skip, featuring probably the most memorable jokes in the show.
This show still has a long way to go before it’s ready for a large scale audience, but I have every expectation that Iain Connell will get there. He maybe just needs to draw a bit more on his imagination. Anyone who can come up with Jolly Boy John can certainly come up with crazier and more off the wall ideas than those in this show. Ultimately I think this is one for big fans willing to give the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure we’ll all be returning to see the finished article when it’s ready.