Al Pitcher

Forced banter with an unreceptive crowd, and apologies over the material suggest little more than a load of hot air

Review by Alison Lutton | 10 Aug 2007
Idiot Wind: a simple enough idea. Al Pitcher identifies the phenomenon as an inability to suppress daft or weird comments in any given social situation. Rather than lamenting the frequently cringeing consequences of this problem, however, Pitcher instead embraces them, observing that, sometimes, we should just "go for it".

That’s about as conceptually involved as Idiot Wind gets, and for an hour-long show it leaves a pretty sparse space for development. It’s just as well, then, that Pitcher provides a running commentary on the show’s every incidental detail as it unfurls. This very quickly begins to grate: pacing the stage ever-so-slightly manically, Pitcher repeatedly describes himself as an "in the moment comedian" who "gets giddy". No shit. Worse still is the desperation which hangs heavy in the air as Pitcher attempts to win over his scanty audience. Continually reassuring those present that they’ll have a great time does not a successful gig make, and neither does forced banter with an evidently unreceptive crowd. Pitcher overlooks this, and while it could be forgiveable, the fact that he apologises for his own material at least twice is the absolute kiss of death for this show at least. When even free ice pops can’t redeem things, you know it’s bad.

Of course, this could be an ironically-crafted comedic metatext where Pitcher illustrates idiot wind by giving himself over to it completely. You’d hope so because, if not, his comedy really is just a load of hot air.