Comedy review: Matt Richardson, Glasgow

There’s a generation of comedians emerging now who’ve grown up believing that they can make a viable living from stand-up. The reality, as Matt Richardson explains, is more complicated than that.

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson: Hometown Hero - Blackfriars Basement, Glasgow

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You can “sell your soul” to present ITV 2’s spin-off show The Xtra Factor, have a front row filled with teenage girls and yet still be living with your parents.

At 22, and with boyish good looks, it would actually be surprising if Richardson hadn’t been snapped up by television. In terms of his stand-up though, his blend of arrogance and insecurity feels studied and indistinct from any number of young, male comics.

The problem isn’t that this is an hour about masturbation and familial friction. He actually finished on a flourish, a solid 15 minutes of personal anecdote that ultimately convinced this Glasgow International Comedy Festival crowd of his talent and likeability.

But he made it a struggle. Lazy regional generalisations and gender stereotypes overshadowed what might have been interesting insights into the class and emotional schisms he has with his parents.

His use of the increasingly hack line “oh, you’re a pay-as-you-go audience”, to indicate a crowd immediately resetting to impassivity after laughing, introduced an unwarranted and unnecessary note of uncertainty into the gig. Ironically though, his mounting “director’s commentary” on the show probably rescued it as well, his asides on the desperation of his largely self-inflicted plight only reiterating the disparity between his supposed celebrity lifestyle and the truth.

Seen on 21.03.14