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Dan Schreiber – C*ckblocked from Outer Space review

Underbelly, Bristo Square

By Ben Williams

Dan Schreiber is a fact fan. So much so he’s made a career out of it. The Hong Kong-born, Australia-raised comic is a ‘QI’ researcher (or ‘elf’ as they’re known) and co-creator of Radio 4’s ‘The Museum of Curiosity’.

He barely mentions these credits in his debut stand-up show, though. ‘C*ckblocked from Outer Space’ opens with a selection of Schreiber’s favourite slices of offbeat info, but the show largely focuses on his general geekiness.

Schreiber has only recently realised that he’s a geek. (At least that’s what he claims. He been an ‘elf’ since 2009, so you’d think someone might have told him.) Cue expected stories about awkwardly talking to women and cruel childhood nicknames he’s only recently discovered the meaning of. But since accepting his nerdiness he’s gained a new confidence, he says, and feels much more comfortable now he’s out and proud in his Buddy Holly specs and skinny ties.

Schreiber sells his witty tales with plenty of charm and sprinkles them with intriguing factoids, but his anecdotes are lacking standout moments or satisfying pay-offs. Stories of a strange encounter with Brian Blessed and a first date that spawned the show’s title are both highlights of the hour, but they’re pleasantly enjoyable, not side-splitting.

It’s the comic’s ridiculous facts and stats – about coconut spies, werewolf curfews and pubic lice hunters – that get the biggest laughs. They’re all fascinating and amusingly silly in their unbelievable truth. Schreiber’s biographical stories, though charmingly told, simply can’t compete with such astonishing nuggets.

‘Dan Schreiber – C*ckblocked from Outer Space’ is at Underbelly, Bristo Square, 5.40pm

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