Rising comic proves his star quality

A COUPLE of years ago Michael McIntyre would have struggled to fill a village hall. Now he's everywhere on everything, and fills the biggest venues in comedy-land.

A COUPLE of years ago Michael McIntyre would have struggled to fill a village hall. Now he's everywhere on everything, and fills the biggest venues in comedy-land.

He is highly mobile, less a stand-up comic more a march/mince/leap around sort of comic, despite being built for comfort rather than speed. His enviably thick glossy hair is also given plenty of work, bouncing around during a description of how difficult it is to walk in a train, for example.

McIntyre's observation is exquisite; his eye for the things that make middle-class life so uncomfortable is unerring. He does it with the benefit of the kind of knowledge that anyone with children named Oscar and Lucas has; he's no impostor.

Why, he asked, do we bother wine-tasting in a restaurant when we know nothing about wine? Because we pretend that we do.


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Wine was something of a theme through the evening as the unfortunate Tom, seated in the front row, discovered. He eventually gave up the news, under persistent questioning, that he worked in a vineyard, though he couldn't remember where. Turned out that he's a straight A student heading for medical school; there's a moral there somewhere.

McIntyre also explored the world of male gymnasium changing room etiquette in great detail, which was both recognisable in every detail to anyone who's ever been in one, hilarious and regrettably unrepeatable in a family publication.

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In the heyday of the edgy comic McIntyre might be seen as a soft option, (there was a brief flirtation with the subject of proctology) but that is to underestimate the talents of a properly funny, skilled observational comedian.

The room clearly loved what he was doing - though we were gently rebuked for not applauding enough. It worked, as we clapped our little hands raw in the second half as we shared the horrors of 'morning breath', of what to do when there are noises in the night (send Mrs McIntyre to investigate, clearly) and the troubles in store when your identity is stolen by a Nigerian woman.

The past couple of years have been pretty spectacular for Michael McIntyre. On last night's evidence there is no reason to think why his stellar rise won't continue.

Dominic Castle

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