Ross Noble Comedy Gift Guide
Ross Noble Comedy Gift Guide

Comedy Christmas Gift Guide

Feature by Bernard O'Leary.
Published 03 December 2012

Comedy DVDs make the perfect stocking filler!

That is probably the most damning indictment of a creative form imaginable, but it is true. All of the usual suspects have new DVDs out just in time for Christmas: Jimmy Carr, Dara O’Briain, Jason Manford, Jon Richardson, Frankie Boyle and every other comedian off the telly. If you walk into HMV right now and grab a random disc, it will probably be a comedy DVD and, if you gift it to someone, they probably won’t hate you too much. Unless it’s Jack Whitehall’s DVD, obviously.

But if you’re shopping for an especially picky comedy fan, don’t despair! There are some gems floating around at the moment, including In The Middle Of No One, a recording of the most recent full-length show by outrageously talented duo The Pajama Men. The show has a cast of thousands, all played by Mark & Shenoah with their whiplash-inducing ability to switch between characters and settings. Even if you’ve seen it live, you’ll want the DVD just so you can catch the jokes you missed first time.

Some of the proper standup heavyweights have DVDs out this year too. Brendon Burns has finally gotten round to releasing his post-Comedy Award show Y’know – Love 'n' God 'n' Metaphysics 'n' Shit and sees him in a more philosophical mood, Phil Nichol is in fine storytelling form with his Nearly Gay/The Naked Racist, while grumpy old man Stewart Lee talks about his waning creative powers and growing interest in Scooby Doo in his latest show Carpet Remnant World.

There are also a wide selection of funny books out on the Christmas market, the pick of the crop being Peter Serafinowicz’s A Billion Jokes (Volume 1). If you follow him on Twitter you’ll know the score: mostly hilarious and occasionally baffling one-liners and non sequiters, lovingly illustrated in this book. Sample joke: “Ron Jeremy’s first pet was called Jeremy and he grew up on Ron Street.”

Another internet funny person with a book out is George Takei. Captain Sulu from Star Trek, as he’s also known, has found a new career as That Guy Who Posts Really Funny Stuff On Facebook and he’s collected his wisdom into an ebook called Oh Myyy. It is only available in electronic format though, which means that while it might make a great gift, it will be much harder to wrap.

Daniel Sloss: Live
***

Daniel Sloss is feeling old because he’s just turned 21. Boo hoo, Fife boy. Actually, it’s a testament to his charm that he can get away with saying that and not have half the audience storm out in a fit of geriatric self-loathing.

Sloss is all self-deprecating charm, with asides about how stupid his trendy hair is, plus a heartwarming retelling of the first joke he ever wrote.  Unfortunately there’s not a huge amount going on beneath that. Sloss is funny and can work a room but it ends up feeling like harmless banter. A nice distraction but you wouldn’t watch it twice.

Ross Noble: Nonsensory Overload
****

A bit of banter about tattoos turns into an epic rant about time machines that look like giant arseholes. This is one of the more memorable moments of the new show from Ross Noble and it’s the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from the man, who is a kind of long-haired nonsense generator capable of spinning insane yarns out of the most mundane of prompts.

He’s become something of a lo-fi national treasure over the years and this DVD set pays tribute to him. The extras spill out across three discs, none of which make any sense but all of which are damn funny.