The Scottish comedian refreshes the traditional stand-up format with killer jokes and fresh material
This is a review of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival season of Fandan.
Larry Dean’s new show starts with the Glaswegian comic wanking in Dubai, sees him on a lunch date with two ex-cons, relays the most elaborate internet stalking of a crush I’ve ever heard, and ends with him back in that Dubai hotel room. It’s a globetrotting show in both the sense that it’s already travelled extensively and that it also covers many of the incidents that have happened to Dean on his travels.
All of this is relayed in Dean’s endlessly animated Scottish brogue – it’s the sort of accent made for telling jokes – that makes him an immediate 9/10 when he walks into a gay bar in Australia. The first time he mentions that he’s in a relationship with a man, a decent chunk of the audience looks pretty surprised. Part of his shtick – and it’ll be pretty unavoidable until he develops the significant following he’s almost bound to – is that he’s not what people expect a gay man to look, sound or act like.
But given the strength of his “London observational comic” character, who pops up to offer lame and unfunny observations on certain situations, you get the impression Dean could be just about any person he chose to be on stage. It’s just that his material is a fair bit edgier than what you’d get from a London observational comic.
In terms of structure and form, it’s a fairly traditional hour of stand-up, but there’s nothing stale about Dean’s act.