Originally published on A Younger Theatre
Awarded 2 stars
Christian O’Connell is a radio DJ, found hosting the weekday breakfast show on Absolute Radio. He’s also a stand-up comedian and in this show he discusses his show and the number of complaints he has had over his 16-year career.
O’Connell obviously exercises a fair amount of restraint on his breakfast show, as this particular stand-up set seems to be full of the swear words and thoughts he couldn’t possibly voice before the watershed. He lists the top 10 swear words that Ofcom forbid TV or radio entertainers to say and he discusses hate tweets that he has received for comments made on his show. Some of the hate mail does indeed come from completely benign things O’Connell has mentioned in passing, such as, “Cats are weird.”
Some of the things he includes in his set though are sailing fairly close to the wind for no apparent reason. For example, including a fairly lengthy story about Jimmy Savile that is then referred back to multiple times throughout the set does seem to be inciting controversy for no real gain. If it garners a small laugh first time round and then silence on the following reprise, the logical thing for a comedian to do is to stop mentioning it and move on to more successful gags. O’Connell unfortunately keeps referring to it and talks about the time he sent in a request to Jim’ll Fix It. Another example – it is a bad idea to compare the death threat you received in the post to the murder of John Lennon.
Considering O’Connell’s primary career choice, it is also a bit baffling to note that his interaction with the audience was average to poor. He discusses how lucky he is to have his childhood dream job of being a DJ and then proceeds to ask every single member of the front row what their childhood dream job was and what their current job is. No witty retorts to their responses, no apparent segue into the next part of his subject material. Perhaps all this indicates why O’Connell is more successful as a DJ than in stand-up.
You’ve Ruined My Morning… And Other Fan Mail played Gilded Balloon (venue 14) until August 29 as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more information, see the EdFringe website.