Review: English Stand Up Comedy
To my regret, I missed Brian Higgins the last time he was in Budapest, and was not sure I would make this show in the end. But everyone who had seen him last time highly recommended him, so I shelved my work and cycled over to the panoramic Sziget Klub for the show Thursday night. Most of the comics have made mention about never having been heckled by a tram before. But at least there have not been mosquitoes this year, and the stage has been lowered making it much easier for the comedians to interact with the audience. Opening act Lloyd Griffith gets an "A" for effort. Brian was enjoyable, especially when he spoke about his Smurf son. The most momentous occasion was when Brian actually managed to get Howard to buy him a drink. This was so extraordinary that people started ignoring the show and videoing Howard on his way to the bar instead.
Last month, Irish comedian Kevin Hayes (IRE) returned to Budapest and the Baby Blue Banana stage. The stage this time has moved back to the Sziget Klub Terasz on Margit Island. I know Baby Blue cannot do anything about this, but although it is convenient, and a lovely location in the summer, they still charge an automatic 12% tip on your bill, and I have a fundamental problem with this. A tip is something you earn and is optional. I would get in a few cheeky ones in before you go. But, we went for the comedy, not the drink. Nour Eddine's (MOR) "recent appearance at the Baby Blue Banana Open Mic show was such a big success." He impersonates an Indian James Bond, but is actually from Morocco. I give him also an "A" for effort. He had good stage presence. His train ticket story and references to Hungarian life went down well with the audience. I would strongly suggest they get Nour to MC the shows from now on. Kevin "is one of comedy's great improvisors, who manages to interact with the audience in such a friendly way that everyone immediately feels a part of the show." He is not what one would call a traditional standup comedian. He does not elicit big guffaws, but you do have a grin on your face through the entire show. I actually got marked out for the first time. I thought I had escaped by not responding that I am an American, but was silly enough to raise my hand to claim I had been to Belfast. After that, I was the sacrificial reference American in the audience. But he was not cruel.