Comedy review: Reginald D Hunter, Glasgow

After some self-indulgent, lazier outings, Reginald D Hunter appears to be inching back towards the provocative, insightful shows that built his reputation.

Reginald D Hunter inches back towards the insightful. Picture: Dianne Tuckett
Reginald D Hunter inches back towards the insightful. Picture: Dianne Tuckett

Reg D Hunter: The Man Who Attempted To Do As Much As Such - SECC, Glasgow

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Always distinctive, thanks to his measured thoughtfulness and dignified Deep South manners, the American still believes that any comedian “worth his salt” should occasionally “say something that could end his career”.

For him, this suggests a mischievous riposte to Roseanne Barr’s strident feminism and his refusal to apologise to a female heckler at a corporate gig. The latter account is the least satisfying aspect of his theories about insincere public apologies.

Citing Monica Lewinsky, Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius as examples though, his general position is compelling, buttressed by his wide-eyed incredulity at the blatant deception the famous employ. His habit of occasionally finishing a routine without a punchline, offering it up as simply interesting, still irks. And I suspect he over-estimates the audience’s sympathy for his tax bill, a complaint that becomes a refrain for the evening.

Nevertheless, Hunter remains a charismatic and unusually open comic, exploring his ex-girlfriend’s betrayal with his best friend in clear-eyed depth, while reflecting that his mother’s abuse made him the man he is today. Engaging the crowd in a series of straw polls on gender and fidelity, his probing curiosity and refusal to accept the world within existing norms throws up persuasive flashes of perceptiveness, especially concerning race. His recollection of shooting his recent music documentary in his homeland is hilarious for the scrapes and confusion that his well-meaning, exclusively white BBC crew accidentally visited upon him.