Comedy review: Jonny & The Baptists

Jonny Donahoe, right, and Paddy Gervers sadly fall short. Picture: Contributed
Jonny Donahoe, right, and Paddy Gervers sadly fall short. Picture: Contributed
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BEING at the forefront of political musical comedy is all well and good, but Jonny Donahoe and Paddy Gervers yearn to be more puerile.

Jonny & The Baptists

The Stand, Edinburgh


The good old days of kids drawing male members on the back of everything are long gone, but that won’t stop this pair belting out a tune about it. This odd couple comprises a controlling if accident-prone main man and a younger dude-like sidekick: had Walter White and Jesse Pinkman turned to comedy instead of crystal meth production, they’d be a lot like Jonny & The Baptists.

As the general election looms into view, their Rock The Vote tour trundles around the country with a curious form of ballot-based comedy. A large chunk of their numbers have very little to do with the events of 7 May, as they knock out ditties about genitalia, libraries, fathers and spilling soup in the bath. There’s not a single mention of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband (Angela Merkel is namechecked more), but their obsession with Farage and his kippers continues unabated.

In Farage (pronounced like “garage”), they create a plethora of potential dictionary definitions which best suit the leader of the purple party, while there’s a touching rock ballad about Donahoe trying his best to convince his dad to spoil his paper rather than vote Ukip. Both men are technically superb and perfectly witty (though surely Gervers is cackling too hard at jokes he’s heard many times before?) but ultimately they’re the New Labour of musical comedy: never quite fully delivering on their hope and promise.

Seen on 15.04.15