On a dreary Bonfire night when rain dampened the fireworks, another excellent evening was had by all at the Jericho Comedy Club. It was standing room only as MC Silky played host to John Emmerson, Rob Heeney and Simon Munnery. The appearance of Munnery, most well-known for his work as the ridiculously fascist “League against Tedium” and the laughably communist “Alan Parker, Urban Warrior”, was no doubt a major draw for the evening, further reinforcing the Club’s growing reputation as a venue hosting top names alongside the best of new acts.
Manxman Rob Heeney started off the night after a quick intro from Silky (the evercynical Liverpudlian), and after a slightly shaky start his relaxed manner had the crowd enthralled by his shaggy-dog storytelling (eg. the hilarious saga of secretly emailing his Mum’s long-lost school heartthrob, the exploration of the possibilities contained within the concept of “Rude Catchphrase”, how to be a Manx fortune teller). There was no reason to get too comfortable, however, as Heeney viciously picked out a beardy in the front row and accused him of being too old. Watch out Grandad.
After a quick beer break, John Emmerson leapt onto the stage, the highlight of his act being another surreal ageist attack, this time launched upon his own dad (who wasn’t there at the time). Hasn’t every bloke secretly considered whether he could deck his own dad? Never mind if he’s 75, could you take him out with a swift left hook to the chin, or would his enormous gut stop your swing from hitting its mark? Would he cheer you on with a fatherly pride as you kicked him in the nuts, shouting “Go on Son, that’s my Boy”? Ach… Though Emmerson was a less relaxed act to watch than Heeney (darting all over the stage like a man with a firework up his bum) he was described by my co-attendee as the intrinsically funnier man. His command of the audience was indeed less masterful, but his material more original (including a quirky new version of alphabet shagging). I would imagine he would be very much worth seeing again in a year or so when he has had a little more time to develop his act.
It was not clear what to expect from Munnery, as he had not been billed as any of his rowdy alter-egos, and it was great to be treated to an evening of what seemed to be a very close approximation of the man himself. With the maniacally serene composure appropriate to a comic genius, he delivered short musical renditions and harmonica playing, anecdotes about meeting his wife, tales of Bombing in Birmingham and the results of a failed pilled-up experimental attempt to be gay and a gamut of fantastic one-liners, all of which - like every excellent joke - I strained desperately and unsuccessfully to recall afterwards. There is no point in trying to reproduce any of Munnery’s material, as it is inseparable at a fundamental level from that down-to-earth yet insane manner, stretchy face, ill-fi tting trenchcoat and absurdly huge spectacles. Cycling home, we hailed a bumbling fi gure lurching quietly towards the train station and told him just how bloody marvellous his show had been. He shouted back thanks and we rode off into the night to the echoing strains of harmonica-playing. Ahh…
Tuesday 19th November will see Liverpool Echo Comedian of the Year “Nige” and Dave Williams (tbc) strut their stuff in the usual place, upstairs at the Jericho, Walton Street. Tickets are £5 (£4 concs.), doors open at 8pm and the show starts promptly at 9.
Find comprehensive details of upcoming Comedy Club nights in the Daily Info Gig Listings section. Check out the nationwide network of hilarity of which the Jericho Comedy Club is part by visiting www.killforaseat.co.uk.