Reviewer: Dave Cunningham
Rob Delaney’s humour is scatological and his range of topics limited to the more crude bodily functions. The title of the show, Meat Tour, comes from Delaney’s habit of wearing his underpants until all that is visible are shreds of clothing and, well, meat.
Delaney rarely rises above the waist when looking for topics upon which to offer opinions. Yet Meat Tour does not seem like sniggering schoolboy humour. This is partly due to Delaney’s laid-back style of delivery. Jokes are told in a relaxed drawl and speeches tend to tail off without really reaching a conclusion.
Despite the crude subject matter it is hard to take offence as Delaney pushes the material towards the surreal. Masturbation is the basis for several routines and Delaney’s enthusiasm for the pastime is such that he builds a fantasy around infiltrating a milking shed disguised as a cow in order to benefit from the, ahem, milking techniques of the diary farmers. Dying by due to an accident while indulging in auto-erotic asphyxiation, he argues, shows a real commitment to wanking.
Delaney is decidedly old-fashioned in his gender and sexual politics but again is able to spin his points into bizarre fantasies. He acknowledges his ignorance about sexual politics with a story of how he once became convinced he had been infected with the AIDs virus. Delaney admits his failings as a marriage partner are so extreme that his wife may be right to nag and outlines a twisted fantasy about ways in which it would be possible for the two of them to sort out their differences by fighting physically.
As Delaney is from the USA the occasional flash of irony comes as a surprise. Delaney, being an American, does not object to the use of drones to kill people but feels that, in principle, more effort should be involved –using a hammer, for example.
Efforts at self-deprecation inevitably involve penis size but Delaney develops a truly odd comparison between himself and Nelson Mandela.
Although relatively short at just over an hour Meat Show is anything but lazy. Delaney crams in a deceptively large amount of material partly because he avoids the over-done routine of interacting with the audience and has the confidence to just stick to the script. This is not a show for anyone who is easily offended and even the broad-minded might find the limited range of subjects tedious. Yet it is hard to recall a comedian who is able to establish a relationship so quickly with the audience and get them rolling in the aisles right from the start.
Reviewed on 8March 2016