British Comedy Takes Over at Just For Laughs Festival

Comedians like Paul Chowdhry, Lauren Pattison and Ed Gamble Take the Stage

  • Lauren Pattison is a rookie in the London comedy scene but she pulls it together and held the stage. Courtesy Andy Hollingworth.

The Brit(ish) Show on July 27 show showcased five comedians from England and was hosted at the Maison Théâtre by Nish Kumur, host of The Mash Report on BBC Two. The experience was dizzying–perhaps only because Kumur spent a disturbing amount of time screaming about the drummer of Coldplay.

Ed Gamble

Once Kumur got all of the mandatory Donald Trump and Brexit jokes out of the way Ed Gamble took to the stage.

I didn’t know much about Gamble going in but he reassured the crowd that neither did anyone else. After getting stuck on a delayed flight in New York with three other comedians, he noticed that the BBC filled half of the article just explaining who they were.

To top it off the BBC had messed up by referring to Gamble as a “diabetic comedian” (Gamble has type-one diabetes)–though he jumped on the opportunity by creating a whole new genre of diabetic comedy–which I suppose isn’t taboo as long as the person telling the jokes has diabetes themself.

Sara Pascoe

Pascoe paled in comparison.

Pascoe has appeared on shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown for Channel 4 and Taskmaster for the online channel Dave. She started off by talking about how she used to think rich people were evil until she became one herself and was able to start taking business class flights–where pilots say “I love you” over the intercom and flight attendants let you drink milk from their breasts that tastes like ©Snapple.

“Namaste means the yoga is over,” she’d say.

Or my personal favourite: “I think all art is rubbish, the only part I like is the gift shop.”

But she really topped if by making jokes about lying still in bed when she has sex.

I wasn’t impressed, mostly because I couldn’t relate to anything she was saying, she was too posh, too rich.

Lauren Pattison

Pattison is 23 and a rookie in the London comedy world but she holds it together – though not necessarily when it comes to her personal life. Most of her set was spent in a long monologue about one of her “hangover days” where after becoming too sick in a grocery store aisle she resorted to puking in a Starbucks cup, which overflowed when the “sick wouldn’t stop.”

I wanted more but it was on to the next. I was starting to wish the sets could have been longer.

Joel Dommett

Things started off rough for Dommett. His jokes were disconnected from each other and at times didn’t seem to go anywhere, but things later gained steam for the comedian known for playing in British tv-shows like Skins, Live in Chelsea, and Impractical Jokers UK .

All of Dommett’s bits seemed to revolve around sleep. He talked about how his dad often fell asleep during movies and so to confuse him he put on other movies with the same lead actor so that when he woke up he’d be confused by the drastic change in plotline.

Then later on he dramatically reenacted the time he had to get out of his seat on an airplane. Because everyone around him was asleep and he didn’t want to wake them, he decided to climbs over the seats like a monkey instead, climbing crotch forward over his sleeping neighbour–only to have him wake midway through. We had to watch it all over again, except this time it was with someone in the front row.

Paul Chowdhry

Chowdhry is known for his abrasive style and went straight into it by talking how he’s often mistaken for being Muslim, like the time BBC Two Newsnight called to ask him about his experiences growing up with the religion. But when, according to him, they offered him money for the interview he decided maybe it was worth it to just lie instead.

“I’m all about the Prophet,” he said (ba dum tss).

Chowdhry is of Indian descent and touches on race frequently, noting it was only after a white person got Ebola that a cure was suddenly found. That and that the idea that immigrants steal jobs is absurd since it’s actually white people who sit around and do nothing all day, he said. Not to mention that jobs can’t even be stolen–it’s not like you risk going into work one day to learn your job has been stolen by someone else. Which sounds right at first, until you remember how scabbing works (when striking workers get replaced by temporary hires).

But again I had a hard time soaking it in–since his set and everyone’s else were too short. All were under 20 minutes each. I left wanting more.

For more information about the Just For Laughs Festival, visit https://www.hahaha.com/

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