There’s always some apprehension when you go to watch one of your favourite comics perform live; will your sides split in the same way they do watching YouTube clips at home and will you walk away reaffirming that he really is as good as you thought?
Well, I can say without a shadow of doubt, Michael McIntyre is hands down hilarious. At one point during his performance at Lincoln Theatre Royal on Friday, my friend had to lean over and ask if everything was alright as I’d been laughing so hard that I was just shaking and making no sound – the mark of a great show.
As fans of the posh-but-not comedian will know, his children and wife are often the subjects of his particular brand of observational comedy and they featured heavily in his dialogue during the show. I don’t think there will be a member of that audience who won’t cry with laughter if they ever heard the expression “pants down Daddy!” again, nor will they look upon fake tan in the same way. ‘Nuff said, unless you were there.
He also did not disappoint the crowd by at one point skipping across the stage, to much delighted squealing from the masses. We’d feared the classic hair-flopping skip was not to emerge after he had walked on normally during the first half.
One of the things which came across strongly was his warmth and seemingly genuine love of making you laugh. The audience cannot help but like him. That he has found the magic formula of walking a bit close to the line but keeping things safe was confirmed by the diversity of his audience – there were grandmas to teenagers in hoodies and plenty of variety in between.
It was also interesting to see him do a slightly unpolished performance as the gig was one of several ahead of a huge tour this year to give him a chance to test out his material. This gave everything a really natural feel and he drew some of his best laughs following on from chats with the audience – “You’re all called Pete?” he asked, confused, and to raucous laughter, following on from a chat with a trio of two women and a man.
One thing that was surprising was seeing how much he swears at a live gig, himself saying “You get the real me tonight”, mentioning his glasses before launching into an hilarious spiel about a photograph mishap pushing them up.
It’s hard to fault the energy, enthusiasm and sheer hilarity Michael McIntyre brought to the humble arena of Lincoln, and, suffice to say, I will be looking for the DVD of the tour once it’s released.