The Cambridge Geek

Tom Allen Is Actually Not Very Nice

Tom Allen is actually not very nice, but has made up for it by being hilarious.

This show, an expansion on his earlier stand-up special is roughly themed around having to deal with awkward situations, and the best ways to rapidly escape them. We've got weddings, having to fire your personal trainer, dealing with other people's children, and sundry disasters.

How then, to navigate this maze of moral choices? Given the success of Boaty McBoatface, we're all now aware of the wisdom of crowds, and so Allen has decided to crowdsource his conscience. He lays out a scenario each week, ably assisted by fellow comedian Gabby Best, and asks the audience how to solve it.

It goes about as well as you expect.

While this does contain a fair amount of traditional stand-up and a bit of short sketch comedy, the bulk is Allen in conversation with the audience, effectively compèring himself. He's a very quick wit, I must say, able to come back with a quip to more or less every audience comment. Pleasingly mean, but not cruel, which is a fine line to walk.

I'm also rather impressed by whatever audience selection criteria they used for this series, as they seem to have ended up with some utterly mad people. I think they're responding to Allen's open style, slightly playing up to a public setting, and it makes them all a bit chattier than you might usually get in a radio audience, but also more likely to take chances on saying silly things. Makes for a fun atmosphere.

Whatever the reason though, it's an excellent bit of fun and worth a listen.

Score 4

Tagged: Radio Comedy Monologue Stand-up Autobiographical