Manchester’s comedy store has been open since 2000 and, like its sister stage in London, is one of the most established venues in comedy. Best in Standup is one of the club’s weekly shows.
Compare Ben Norris was relaxed and irreverent, and did the usual crowd warm up banter with ease and fast-paced wit.
Opener Michael Fabbri’s jokes often erred on the offensive-but-not-quite-funny-enough side, relying on pretty generic material on the Internet and domestic routine for bigger laughs.
Andrew Bird, by contrast, made similar subject matter hilarious. He was relatable, sharp and had great energy, livening up the whole audience with jokes about video recording and MTV sign language interpreters.
Rob Deering’s guitar goofiness was fast paced and filled with quick one liners and pun-tastic song titles, ending on a failsafe acapella techno dance routine.
Paul Tonkinson was the crowd favourite doing jokes on ecstasy in the 90s, and a torrent of impressions about his ‘lardy wife’ and their sex life which was frankly hilarious.
The night was a success for classic, unchallenging standup. Tonkinson and Bird made the night for me and, although not pushing any boundaries the Comedy Store was stocked with a great fun-filled atmosphere.
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