Generally when it comes to comedy, I’m a fan of there being a point and a theme to the show, particularly if it’s a solo hour. However, there is a case to be made for just being funny for funny sake.
Wild-haired Canadian comic Craig Campbell falls into the second category. Not even bothering to wait for the show to officially start, he in in the crowd messing about and riffing before the lights have even gone down, even singing a couple old folk songs from his home country. It’s charming, if not always hilarious, and really
sets the scene for the show proper.
The show itself is a collection of anecdotes from his travels (a Scottish man getting ‘taped’ in Canada being a particular highlight), and it’s all good, classic club comedy. The laughs come regularly, and it’s accessible to all, although it is deceptively intelligent stuff. There are also a lot of observations on the difference between nationalities, standard club fare but well handled by Campbell and made a little more interesting than usual.
There are some slightly uncomfortable
segments, a small handful of rape jokes get big laughs from the late night Stand audience, but seem out of place in a liberal performing arts festival like the Fringe. They leave a particularly bad taste in the mouth, because Campbell seems so likeable and funny that he really doesn’t need to lower himself to that level.
Essentially a surprisingly clever, enjoyable hour let down by some disappointing and needlessly offensive rape jokes. There will always be an audience for this type of thing.