17 March 2011

whimsical anecdotes with perturbed stories of sex, drugs and badgers.

whimsical anecdotes with salty stories of sex, drugs and circumcision.

 Stand up Craig Campbell rocked my tiny world last night; for a short while anyway.

When he began on the ‘oh isn’t it funny I’m a Canadian living in Devon and your English culture is soo funny’ shtick I thought "here we go again"; aloominum, aluminium. Sure enough he mentioned how funny it was that the English got annoyed at the Canadian pronunciation of aluminium but his storytelling skill showed around an hour later when the word came up again that he paused slightly, looked up at us and, then pronounced the word ‘properly’ like an Englishman would.

He’s as far from the pasty Englishman than it could possibly be anyway; long hair, beard, dropping in gags about snowboarding, mountain climbing, being a biker and a mountain biker, doing jujutsu, how well travelled he is, how violent he can but actually holds it back “because I don’t want to be that type of person”. He recounts a mugging him and his mate from Newcastle experienced in a foreign country. They had been out from the hotel to get some food and had their wallet stolen. A nifty piece of violence saw Craig with his assailant in a head lock, the recipient of him saying “let’s see if any of this jujitsu shit works”. At the end of he comes out of the ‘we’ve been mugged’ phase and still has, in his hand, the plate of food, intact, unspilled, that he was taking back to the hotel. A great raconteur.

I began to take a dislike to his boastings but at heart you can’t help but like his masculine amiability as he skates the edge of macho boasting and apologetic sexism. He even elicited a groan from me recounting the old biker joke about the guy whose jacket had written on the back - ‘if you can read this, the bitch fell off’. “That’s the type of guy I was dealing with”, he says as an excuse to get the joke out. Brendon Burns (the undisputed master of the outrageous out of order comment) said, when I went to see his show that if you want to say anything that may be a bit dodgy or un-Politically correct, whether it’s racist or sexist or misogynist just let some other character in the story you are telling say it. Simple. We then all laugh at how racist/misogynist the person who said it is. I’m not suggesting he is the same league as Brendon Burns because he’s not; more his politer Canadian cousin who milks the laughs and pulls the funny faces just a wee bit too long.

He does though avoid what I thought would be obvious stereotypes and gives us some genuinely funny observations and interpretations on national identity. “You guys are so funny when it’s foggy and you’re driving on the motorway. ‘Where did the guy in the car ahead of me go?’ ‘Dunno’ ‘Let’s find out.’” He then mimics putting foot on the accelerator. Of course we all love it when he rips it out the Americans, but even then, he’s genuinely affectionate about their foibles, as we are too and we all bask in the warm glow of how casually racist and stereotyped we all are.

All in all though not a bad show, catch him if you can. Its simple humour but it works well because we end up liking the lovable, outrageous Canadian lunk. I woke up this morning with images still in my brain over his stories about how he kicked a badger to death and was in a tent masturbating to a man having a heart attack.

Driving with the lights on