ComedyLatitude FestivalLGBTQReviewSouth East

LATITUDE 2016: Al Porter

Venue: Comedy Arena
Reviewer: Andy Moseley

Perhaps the nearby stall selling Emu’s and Cuddles – two 70s TV soft toy puppets – knows something we don’t. Anyone watching Al Porter’s stand-up in the comedy tent will definitely feel like they have taken a step back in time. If you think of a mash-up of Alan Carr and Frank Carson with a touch of Larry Grayson thrown in for good measure, you would not be far away from the truth.

Opening with a good set of gags about Father’s Day on the Dublin council estate where he grew up, it is only a short space of time till loose women with low IQs and five children by different fathers find their way into the set. Noting that their non-English speaking fathers all had taxi driving in common is an early detour into a gay reboot of a 70s working men’s club comic, and it is quickly followed by innuendos and double entendres about being willing to go to great lengths for a good gag. Subtle this isn’t.

A routine about playing dumb when a policeman pulls him over for speeding brings Larry Grayson in at the same time as Alan Carr is shown the door, and political correctness also goesout of the window as 70s band Showaddywaddy get a new name to turn them into the start of a routine, that also included several song titles from the same era, about how to find humour in Isis. Not that it is a step into political comedy of course, just the same retreading and revamping of a genre that can only be funny when it is consciously self-parodied.

Al Porter is not a self-parody. Al Porter was not even born forty years ago. In spite of this, for some reason, Al Porter seems to think his over the top routine passes for refreshing honesty and humour. It doesn’t, it just makes you long for Rod Hull and Keith Harris to come back to life.

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