This was only his third professional visit to the UK but Boston comedian Bill Burr quickly sold out three gigs at Kentish Town’s dingy but beautiful The Forum and the atmosphere was buzzing.
Romesh Ranganathan was the unknown factor but well and truly warmed the room with his critical take on vegetarians and vegans despite being one himself, plus a hilarious look at racism from the perspective of an Englishman from Indian descent.
Unusually, his jokes about parenthood did not isolate childless members of the audience, since the angle he took incorporated the grumpy young man perspective of much of the new generation.
Despite Ranganathan’s success, he could not compete with the American master. Burr could be morbid, crude and overflowing with rants and conspiracy theories, but everything he said hit the mark, with the exception of some blurred words that were difficult to decipher.
The comedic gods conspired to help Burr’s act with one big happy accident: after scoffing at ghosts and all who believe in them, even shouting to the theatre’s ghosts to kill him if they really exist, Burr’s water bottle suddenly toppled over and his reaction left the entire crowd in stitches. Although this was not planned, it gave Burr a chance to display one of a comedian’s most valuable skills: thinking on his feet.
Burr closed by appealing for us to buy his DVD and share the word with the rest of the UK. This is definitely something we should be doing to get this great, down-to-earth comedian to journey over The Pond again soon.