Jon Richardson: This Guy At Night Review

<strong>Rebecca Gordon</strong> finds pleasure in painful comedy.

Article by Rebecca Gordon | 17 Aug 2009

Comedy paradox Jon Richardson strikes the perfect, if unusual, balance between needy nice-guy charm and gnarled pessimism, resulting in an hour of endearingly comical nitpicking.

On one hand, gripped by all-consuming OCD, the diminutive comic reels off an extensive catalogue of personal grievances, indulging in lengthy grumbles on the ineptitude of BT or public shows of affection with the cantankerous righteousness of a pensioner. On the other, self-lacerating as always, Richardson turns on himself to dissect every tiny instance of imperfection, rationalizing his rather tragic inability to be in a relationship.

Dispiriting though it may sound, when the Lancastrian utters his own death wish after failing to be able to ice-skate, he’s about as startled as we are, and all too willing to see the funny side. Richardson is an exceptionally laid-back performer. For all his perfectionist quirks, he has the engaging capacity to meander on hilarious tangents, much to the enjoyment of his won-over audience.

Read Chris Williams' review of Jon Richardson's show at Fringe