Jason John Whitehead - March 20, The Universal
Whitehead's informal, almost friendly delivery masks the subtlety and thoughtfulness of his material.
Jason John Whitehead ruminates philosophically on his tenth anniversary as a stand-up comedian. It is a period of time that has seen his stock rise considerably without ever threatening to court either mainstream popularity, or unquestioned critical acclaim. The evidence of this set explains why. Whitehead's informal, almost friendly delivery masks the subtlety and thoughtfulness of his material. He gives the impression of rambling somewhat aimlessly, speaking on any passing whim, but it is a meticulously constructed soliloquy. Unfortunately, this subtlety is applied to the most straightforward of comedic fare. Cultural differences (Brits drink a lot, apparently), ex-girlfriends, and even the harder-hitting stuff about a comedian's battles with substance abuse generate nothing but a sense of deja-vu. Whitehead certainly deals with these from his personal perspective with charm and great insight, but some risk-taking originality wouldn't have gone astray. [Paul Mitchell]