Culture & Conversation

All that glitters is comic gold

Strong from a year-long world tour, Scottish comedy wunderkind Danny Bhoy once again graces Montreal’s Just For Laughs with “Wanderlust,” a sharp and effortless show that will take you wandering back to Scotland, back in time, and back to those little memories that always manage to make you laugh.

Last Tuesday, July 19, Britcom fans were buzzing with excitement as Danny Bhoy made his humble entrance on stage at Le Gesù’s packed house. Displaying a boyish grin (pardon the pun) and a laidback demeanor, we were instantly charmed by this half-Scottish, half-Indian comedian.

Feeling his way out with a couple of starter jokes, Bhoy’s trademark sense of acute observation and light self-deprecation was soon apparent when he brought out a self-made “Danny” sign, a cardboard cutout smothered in glitter. “I’ve always wanted my name in lights,” he exclaimed in his Edinburgh accent, “but  this looks like it should be hanging in a 12-year-old girl’s bedroom!”

It’s clear that Bhoy does not take himself too seriously, and good thing too. Taking us to the gloomy streets of Glasgow and the Scottish capital, we know why. From the constant lack of sunlight, to alcohol usage, Bhoy delivered a series of sharp tales that highlighted his typical Gaelic wit.

Not to worry, though –Bhoy’s routine does not simply reply on drinking and bad weather jokes. He seamlessly weaves in a number of personal stories that feel highly authentic and relatable, reminiscent of your own memories that never fail to make you laugh. A disastrous French lesson with classmate Scott points out Scotland’s lack of worldliness, while a particularly crowd-pleasing story involving Bhoy’s encounter with American tourists in a local bar will have you gasping for air.

Bhoy’s appeal lies in his ability to make you feel like you are sitting in an intimate audience of 50 while you are actually sitting among hundreds (no doubt due to his immense success at the Edinburgh Fringe). His talent for reenactment reminds you of that guy at a party who can tell a really friggin’ good story. He will hop from a drunk Scot at “happy hour” back in time to a gay Viking and various Shakespearian characters while managing to keep cool, composed and relaxed.

But some of the show’s strongest moments crop up when Bhoy travels to the U.S. in search of success but instead finds himself falling in headfirst with Texan rednecks, an audience at a revolving restaurant and… Matt Damon? All of whom do not seem to get his humour. The image of the lone Indian-Scot in Texas is unforgettable and, according to Bhoy, unimaginable for Americans, for whom he is “two very different characters on The Simpsons.” Fame and stardom is not always what it’s cracked up
to be.

So, it’s almost a relief to know that Bhoy’s stint in the States has left him unfazed and with plenty of self-aware, clever material to please comedy fans worldwide. While his name might not be in lights just yet (although that sign is pretty darn cute), Bhoy’s performance will remind you that a simple laugh is just as worth it.
Danny Bhoy’s “Wanderlust” at Le Gesù as part of Just for Laughs 2011, July 19-23, and July 26-31 at 7 pm
For tickets, or call 1-888-244-3155

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