Harry Hill, Comedy Genius.

Posted on 4 August 2002 in Entertainment (No comments)

It was the first of August . The year is 2002 and I'm sat in Warpole Park for the penultimate day of the Ealing Comedy Festival. The line up: Steve Bowditch (fantastic!), Ian Stone (wonderful!) and special guest star, Harry Hill!

For those that don't know, Steve Bowditch is one of the stars of Harry's shows, and regularly goes out on tour with Harry. Half the audience didn't seem sure by his daft songs and delibratly bad jokes, but the other half loved him. Thankfully the hecklers weren't out in force.

Ian Stone on the other hand is more convential. A Jewish comedian, he makes you laugh at jokes you think you really shouldn't be laughing about. I'd never come across Ian before, but he was well worth seeing.

And then there was the star of the show.

Harry Hill is a comedian like no other. A madcap routine that relies on repetition and just being quite frankly bizairre. His knowledge of pop music is to be quite frank, surreal.

I first came across Harry Hill on Radio 4, towards the end of one of his series. I can't remember anything about it but I knew enough to watch when he arrived on Channel 4. I've been a fan ever since. He even made Stars In Their Eyes watchable by his Morrisey impression. That takes some doing.


Harry Hill is doing well as a comedian. His audience now spreads across the ages. There will always be people who don't get him, and one can only wonder how his early career went. I wasn't there, so I don't know, but I do wonder how many hecklers he got.

We laughed pretty non-stop for the whole of his set, and his encore. There were a few bits to his act where he made you wait, and you couldn't help but wonder if he'd momentarily lost it. Those occasions were rare and usually saw Harry making the audience wait for a wonderful gag. If you ever see him do his John Lennon sings glue routine, and you think its a bit slow, don't worry, it reaches a fantastic climax! Even when things are going nowhere, he's refreshingly honest and just stops there and does something else.

A Comedy Legend.

Walking home after a fantastic night, we contemplated the future. Its not hard to see Harry appearing on one of those Comedy Legend programmes that BBC One and Channel 4 seem to love so much.

For Harry is like no other. His style is madcap, and watching him on stage is a revelation. He'll start a gag, then leave it, come back to it ten minutes later. If he was doing it just for one gag, then you could sort of see it, but all the time there several running gags, constantly being started and stopped abruptly for more insanity.

Throughout the whole show you just don't even know if he's prepared most of it in advance, or if he's just doing whatever comes into his head at the time. It all looks completely chaotic, especially when an audience member with a rather surreal hairdo attempted to sneak out, only to be spotted by Harry who loudly proclaimed "Ladies and Gentlemen, the lead singer of Toploader!" And then its straight back into something else!

Throughout it all, the audience were having a wonderful time, the chaotic look making it look ever more madcap.

How Harry does it, I just don't know. His style is unique and brings a lot of joy to those who watch him. Yet he holds it all together and despite the chaos, makes it all look so easy.

I haven't laughed so much in the space of an hour in my life, and to make it worse, I often just didn't know why I was laughing. But laugh I did, and enjoy myself I did too. I enjoyed watching a genius at work.

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