The premise of Nathan Cassidy’s show is in its name – he’s positing the idea that he is the reason behind the financial crash of 2008. This is an interesting concept, and one that could explore a lot of different avenues; the culture which fostered such recklessness, the government’s response to it, and whether it’ll happen again.
Unfortunately, Cassidy does’t explore any of these ideas in great depth. His anger at the 2008 recession seems to be targeted at individuals he didn’t like on a personal level, instead of attacking the structural injustices in place that allowed such a small group of companies to acquire such a large sum of money (and then blow it all). Most of the time, he just comes off as incredibly bitter – something he says he’s aware of, but keeps doing anyway.
This bitterness isn’t restricted to the bankers, though – it seems like Cassidy is angry at, well, everything. A bad Times review, a failed marriage, how much Dermot O’Leary earns. Ranting isn’t a comedy misstep per se, but it feels like one when the anger becomes unrelenting. And the entire crux of the routine, the anecdote about how Cassidy caused the 2008 financial crash, takes less than two minutes to tell. It seems anticlimactic at best, especially because it took us such a long time to get here (a disproportionate amount of time was spent discussing the minutiae of OJ Simpson’s trial, although there were good points raised about how you can literally get away with murder as long as you have money).
Cassidy has some genuinely interesting insight into a famously nasty sector of work during a famously nasty period of time, and there are some good one-liners along the way. He’s clearly passionate about many worthy causes – workplace bullying, for one – and the anecdote about his children is the highlight of the show (both in terms of comedy and its feelgood factor). In fact, just tightening the structure up a little could help a great deal; it’s a shame that for now, his show seems to be a nebulous collection of tangents and not much else.