IF THERE’S a circuit comic who can chatter with a crowd better than Jarred Christmas, it’s about time they revealed themselves.
Jarred Christmas - Blackfriars, Glasgow
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He was just as capable of skilfully shooting the banter breeze while supporting Tommy Tiernan at the Pavilion in 2011 as he is here on the opening night of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival in front of more modest numbers but just as lively a basement gang.
That his written material only seldom hit the hilarity mark isn’t for the want of trying, as Christmas puts his heart, soul, kidneys and liver into making this a treat for his gathering. As a father of two young girls, he has material about the irregular sleeping habits of children that feels as though it’s been mined before, while his analysis of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems at least has a satisfying finale. This segment also gives him the chance to try out his lip-synching talents as he mimes to Kanye’s Gold Digger in order to show that polite white men should steer away from idly singing rap lyrics in public.
The Kiwi comic almost inevitably tackles technology head-on and has some inventive gear to throw at us about the flaws of car-locking systems and Kindles, but the audience seem more tuned in to his sillier, shouty, mock-outrage side, while his finale, in which he appears to offer us some control over proceedings, is as fake as it is funny.
Describing a comic as likeable is probably damning them with faint praise, but Jarred Christmas comes firmly into that category.