“So why am I doing a stand up tour you ask?” Merchant instantly says after bounding on stage and pulling off the robot dance move. “So I can actually do something and not have to share the money with you-know-who!”
“You-know-who” of course, refers to Ricky Gervais, his co-writer of multi-award winning show The Office plus the equally brilliant Extras and also last year’s poignant film, Cemetery Junction.
Merchant has been in Gervais’ shadow since the early days at XFM when he co-presented The Ricky Gervais Show in which the moronic Karl Pilkington was also introduced to the world. Now with the hugely successful An Idiot Abroad series on Sky, Merchant also appears to be in the perfectly round shadow of Karl Pilkington too, but with his debut stand up tour he finally manages to be hilarious in his own right without the help of his two chums.
Merchant is hysterical throughout the show; mostly talking about his luck, or lack of luck, with women as he states at the start that his reason for doing a show is to “hunt down a wife.”
He explains the problems that can arise when being 6”7. The lanky goggle-eyed Bristolian explains his troubles when travelling: “Sir why are you in the crash position?” “I’m not!”
His awkwardness with females is fantastic as he reveals the issues that his height can cause in sex. He doesn’t just talk about these problems though, he acts them out…involving him basically limbo-humping a microphone stand on stage.
Throw into the mix masturbating two year olds, close ups of his sex face and his perplexed attitude towards Venn diagrams and this show is phenomenally funny – too funny if anything. Prepare to walk out with your jaw aching and ribcage exhausted.
When your mate sat next to you decides she can’t wait til the end to go for a piss, it’s probably a safe bet that she’s wet herself laughing.
Ask Santa for the DVD for Christmas if you like to laugh.