Two years ago, in my tiny room at the University of East Anglia, on freeview software downloaded to my computer, I saw an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks hosted by David O’Doherty. I’d never heard of him before, but he was doing the show like Shakira was supposed to be the host and he’d filled in for her at the last minute. The whole thing was very, very silly and I loved it. After it ended, I checked out his website (http://www.davidodoherty.com/) and loved that too. Here was an Irish man in a shark costume, writing books about panda facts, and a quick glance at youtube told me he is rarely found on stage without a tiny plastic children’s keyboard. What is there not to love?!
Today I am the proud owner of not only his book of panda facts, but also the newer one of shark facts. I recently bought his two most recent cds (paid for them and everything), and last night as the last part of my birthday present, James took me to see him at the Norwich Playhouse.
By the way, this is my favorite panda fact:
The Norwich Playhouse is a lovely little theater on the charming St George’s Street. It’s a small, quirky place and the attached bar is my favorite beer garden I’ve been to in this city yet. It’s right on the river and decorated in a way that would make Austinites feel at home. This bar will be the subject of another post, so I’ll move along.
I’ve only been to one other comedy gig before. My sister took me to see Craig Ferguson last spring and that night is etched in my mind for a lot of reasons. For one, I love Craig Ferguson and he was hilarious. For another, it was in Bass Hall in Fort Worth, which is more suited to seeing symphonies while dressed in fancy clothes than a foul-mouthed Scotsman and a dancing leprechaun. The fanciness of the location and the height of our seats in the balcony added an extra layer of surreality to my memory of the evening that is entirely unnecessary. It was always going to be a surreal memory because the afternoon of the show I had returned from Norwich. I was very jet lagged and tired and suddenly was sitting in a seat where a steep drop to my death was just a wobbly step away. Another layer of intrigue was added when I got home late after the show, completely unaware of what time it was or even where I was. It was one of those times when I was too tired to even go to bed, so I dropped onto the sofa, turned the tv on, and was greeted by 45min of news stations going nuts about something the president was going to announce. In a daze I watched Obama announce that bin Laden was dead. When I did go to bed late that night, the whole day felt like an elaborate dream. The long obnoxious flight from England, jet lag, a fancy theater, the altitude sickness-inducing seats, Craig dancing, leprechauns, someone dressed as a pirate with a chest full of gold, and bin Laden’s dead. The show was a hilarious and fun time with my sister, but I was hoping David O’Doherty’s would be slightly less confusing.
As James and I were walking down sleepy Colegate to the theater, we again were struck by how lucky we are to be living here. A five minute walk through a lovely village street takes us from our flat to a wonderful theater to see one of our favorite comedians. It felt like David O’Doherty was doing a show in our backyard.
We took our seats and waited for the comedy onslaught.
He didn’t disappoint. David O’Doherty describes his comedy style as “very low energy musical whimsy” and that’s exactly what it was. The show was gentle, silly comedy performed in a charming, musical and whimsical way. Much of the night was about topics that are quite depressing, like a breakup, the recession, and mice infestations, but he managed to turn them into hilarious, sweet, and light-hearted comedy. He’s immensely likeable and seemed to be enjoying himself, never trying too hard or taking himself too seriously. Feeding off of that, the whole theater was filled with warm, lovely, positive feelings. One of the best moments came when he got out a tiny Cosmopolitan magazine insert about Women’s 1000 all time best sex tips and began to read/sing its contents. It contained tips like “Eat raw mushrooms because they smell like sex” and other similar ridiculous things that Cosmo is known for printing.
The show ended with the crowd-pleasing My Beefs 2012 and then David hung out in the lobby taking pictures with the audience for a while. He was a lot of fun and very friendly, proposing different amusing scenarios for each picture. I had him sign my panda book, then we took a couple of photos.
Being presented 100 Facts About Pandas
Yay! We are celebrating something!
I was impressed that he not only took pictures and talked with everyone, but that he seemed to be enjoying taking pictures and talking to everyone. The show was sold out so he’s coming back to the Playhouse on October 29th. If you’re in Norwich, you better go see it!