Patrick Monahan review - SkinnyFest 1

Article by Jonathan Liew | 14 Aug 2006
As with jazz, it sometimes seems that some comedians have made a pact with the devil that enables them to tell a joke like nobody else but renders them not remotely tolerable as a person. Once in a while, though, you see somebody coming in the other direction, and like those uncles you never saw but who always gave you really cool birthday presents, Patrick Monahan really just wants you to like him.

Eager to get the sparsely-filled room on his side, Monahan draws back from the slightest risk of giving offence. "No, I'm only joking," he often says after one of his gentle barbs, apparently forgetting that that's his job. Around halfway, though, things start to get a little interesting. For one thing, he gets audiovisual on us – comparing President Ahmadinejad of Iran to George Michael and then singing Careless Whisper with a mask on is a highlight. But more profoundly, his points actually start to make sense. His discussion of the different processes by which people make decisions and the extent to which other people's decisions are their own to make is very clever stuff, and manages to strike a chord. Unfortunately it's not always a particularly funny chord, but Monahan has enough ideas and talent to ensure that sometime soon it could be.
Patrick Monahan - Do The Right Thing, Underbelly, until August 27 (not 16), 21:15, £9.50/£8.50 (£8.50/£7.50).