The original plan was to write a review on the year in comedy but to be honest it made me give far too much thought to Jason Manford and his saucy tweeting, which we could all do without. Instead as it’s de rigueur in December, I’ve decided to list my Top 10 comedy…things…of the year. So that’s the stand-ups, shows, films and TV programmes that have made 2010 great for comedy. In order to not totally overload the blog it’ll be broken down into three sections, positions 10-6, 5-2 and then number 1. Oh the suspense.
This year saw the cinematic release of American: The Bill Hicks Story, plus the mammoth compilation of recordings that made up the Bill Hicks Essential Collection. For Bill Hicks completists there may not be much that hadn’t been dug out and seen already, but there were plenty of rare treats and as a compendium of the great man’s work, for the old and new generations of fans, it was a treasure trove and a timely tribute.
To condense my feelings for this show into one paragraph are not going to be easy. The simple charting of two lives, a man and a woman but, as Kitson is keen to point out, they could be anyone. It’s Always Right Now… is one of the most beautiful pieces of comedy theatre and was another staggering reminder of what a wonderful creative Kitson can be. An Edinburgh highlight and, should the opportunity present itself again, a must see.
Released at the beginning of the year, it could have been easy to overlook but Intimate Moments… has become one of my favourite comedy albums of the year. A simple and free flowing but utterly daft performance it’s also a perfect marker of Ansari’s career ascension on both stage and screen. To top it off he’s just announced he’s bringing his current Dangerously Delicious Tour to the Soho Theatre in the New Year. Woo.
7. Tom Basden
Perhaps not the most obvious choice but I’ve made no secret of the fact I think Tom Basden is a serious talent. He bought his plays Party (though technically it debuted Edinburgh 2009) and Joseph K to London and he’s now working on writing his second sitcom. All of that and he continues to be an increasingly strong stand-up. Sickening really.
6. Greg Davies
If you’d ask who out of the cast of uber-hit The Inbetweeners would have be the shows first serious break out star, Greg Davies may not have been the obvious choice. A behemoth headmaster ‘Mr Gilbert’ became the main source of genuine hilarity after the show descended into a week-by-week stream of scat and piss jokes. Outside of this he’s notched up an ever growing number of TV appearances, seemingly endless 5 star reviews for his Edinburgh show and sold-out shows across the country. He’s quickly becoming one of UK comedy’s biggest stand-up stars.