STEPHEN MERCHANT - HELLO LADIES

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Stephen Merchant Hello Ladies Cover
Imagine that you're a tall, goggle-eyed, comedian, looking for love, and you're not quite sure how to expedite matters post haste. So what do you do about it, huh? Scratch your nuts? Slap a dwarf? Or would you be like the aforementioned Mister Merchant, and showcase your attributes for 78-minutes in 2011. Well, it might work!


Hello Ladies


THE STORY:
Now after posing for some pictures, Steven Mitchell... err... I mean 'Merchant', prances about all over the stage like giraffe on Viagra, as he then regales his audience on the following topics of note: (1) Romance. (2) The media. (3) His height. (4) Education. (5) Relationships. (6) Technology. And (7) Whatever else he can come up with to get the ladies in attendance to fancy him.

No. I'm afraid to say this doesn't work. With my current benefits of hindsight, all this does is make Stephen's live audience laugh like a right gaggle of goons. Here, check out these quotes taken from the show, to figure out the reasons why.

  • One of the reasons why I'm doing stand up comedy, is because I don't have to share the profits with 'you know who'.
  • It's very annoying when the prostitute you've slept with won't sell her story to the national press. Stupid crack whore!
  • It's a problem being tall. I spent most of my childhood either leaning against things, or standing in the distance.
  • How can I be a geek? I have a 'Blue Peter' badge and a Casio calculator watch!
  • No! Don't clap. We're not American.
  • How do you ask you're patient out of you're a gynaecologist?
  • Did Judas betray Jesus because he wanted to split the bill after the last supper?
  • I met this beautiful girl at a wedding, and nigh on straight away we seemed to hit it off. She liked movies. I liked movies. She liked music. I liked music. She had a glass eye. I like to roll things.
  • I went into a nightclub once, and realised that most of the people there never watched porn on VHS. They were all 21!
  • Dog is not mans best friend. I've never gone walking with my best friend, where he sh*t on the pavement, and I had to clean it up afterwards.
  • I went out with a girl for a meal, and she said to me '50 / 50?'. I said 'No. You ate more than me. It should be 70 / 30'.
  • My face is one of the main reasons why I'm single. Unless as a child you had a thing for 'child-catchers'.

In closing his show, Stephen explains how he got his 'Blue Peter' badge, before performing a play called 'Choices' with two members of the studio audience.

Trust me. It was a BAFTA worthy recital. One hundred percent.




THE REVIEW:
Whenever I watch an 'artist' do something different away from the 'double-act' he or she is normally associated with, there is a small part of me that makes me wonder what he contributed to the 'conceptual whole'. Now I'm sure you know where I'm coming from with this remark, dear reader. Would a Laurel work without a Hardy? Could a Abbott bust a funny without a Costello? Furthermore, can a Merchant make me laugh without a Gervais?

Stephen Merchant Laughing
Well, simply put, folks. Yes. Yes he can. Here, check out this bullet-point summation for my reasons why. (1) Stephen is a lot more animated during his performances than Ricky is by far. Honest to God, sometimes his onstage antics are so enthusiastic and lively, I can't help but perceive him as being some sort of live action cartoon given human form. (2) Just like Ricky, most of Stephens humour is based on character and observation, and has a very nice way of 'feeding off' of itself as he progresses his way though his act. Granted, some people might think of this as being overt and somewhat sloppy within the confines of his set. Yet to me I think of this a being very clever and expansive by default. (3) My only slight gripe with 'Stephen Merchant - Hello Ladies', is that I wasn't too keen on his 'love making' routine. Compared to the rest of his act, I found that it came across as bit too crass overall, and felt slightly misplaced where taste was concerned. (4) There is no doubt in my mind that Stephen can tell a very good story, because most of his jovial narratives were very personable by nature, and have that 'I know what you mean' feel about them. (5) The premise for this show was a very-very funny premise indeed. Relentlessly Stephen tried to 'sell himself' to the 'ladies', and... errr... fails at it miserably. Ha! (6) At the end of his show Stephen and two members of his audience did one of the most silliest routines I've seen for a very long time. It was about an old play he once wrote with an old school friend of his, which was so laugh out loud funny, I had to rewind it back once or twice, because I missed parts of it during my sniggering.


Stephen Merchant Hello Ladies


Stephen Merchant
Hey! I tell you what. While I'm in a bullet-point type of a mood, why don't I present you with some of these Stephen Merchant facts? Their clean! (1) Stephen James Merchant was born in Bristol on the same date that a group of scientists found the remains of a three-million-year-old hominid in Ethiopia -- the 24th of November, 1974. (2) Steven first met his eventual 'The Office' / 'Extras' co-collaborator, Rickey Gervais, when Ricky hired him to be his assistant at 'Xfm' -- an indie radio station. (3) Sara Dallin, from the eighties pop-group, 'Bananarama', is one of Stephen's cousins. (4) I kid you not; Stephen is exactly the same height as the English Footballer, Peter Crouch -- six foot seven inches. (5) Not only was Steven a contestant on the popular quiz show, 'Blockbusters', but for a brief period, he was also an intern for the legendary 'Radio Caroline' too. (6) Although he uses his bulbous eyes for comedic effect, Steven has actually got an acute astigmatism, which affects his vision. (7) Just like Ricky, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Rickey Grover before him, Stephen made an appearance on the satirical '11 O'clock Show'. It was his first English television appearance. (8) In the past, Mister Merchant has stated that his top five favourite films are: Jack Lemmon's 'The Apartment'; Martin Scorsese's 'After Hours'; Woody Allen's 'Play It Again, Sam'; Jeff Daniels's 'The Squid and the Whale'; plus the Gene Kelly classic, 'Singin' in the Rain'. (9) Now how can Stevey-boy not have an official website -- www.stephenmerchant.com




All in all 'Stephen Merchant - Hello Ladies' was a great stand-up show to sit back and laugh at. It was funny in places. It was jovial in others. And overall it was like watching an animated version of a gag-fest, just without any animation in it. Agreed, Steve?




Ha! What a git.

THE RATING: A