Smiling misanthrope Nick Doody is the kind of guy you’d find yourself making small-talk with over a beer at a friend’s barbecue and conclude, “that Nick seems like a nice fella”. No doubt he is, but there’s more going on. Unleashed onstage, he’s surprisingly full of frustration and disbelief at the world, and it’s highly entertaining watching him letting it all out.
An opening scene at an airport, where he’s challenged on his use of English by a Dutch stewardess, is the kind of thing he excels at. Setting up perceptions, then subtly undermining them. He’s an intelligent comic, but not one that wears it on his sleeve. This opener may have been the beginnings of an exploration of language mistakes, the “tai’po” of the title. If it was, it’s not been followed through, and what is to come is more conventional but no less effective ranty stuff.
Doody likes people as individuals, but not in the collective; a lot of his humour derives from this. We get his takes on alcohol, religion, manners and social interaction. There’s an amusing anecdote where he briefly became a very minor media celebrity, courtesy of a twitterstorm over his wife’s lost engagement ring.
Part of the amusement derives from Doody finding himself in an awkward pocket of comedy – not TV big (“I’ve been on the News Quiz twice”), not new and young enough to garner media attention, not “out there” enough to be cult, yet a man of obvious talent. On the plus side, this gives rise to the funniest segment of the evening, when he lets out his bitterness about higher profile comics, comparing both them and him to diseases. On the down side, it means there’s only a moderate crowd there to see him do it.
Doody may be in search of an audience this evening, but he’s not in search of a laugh. He’s a fine, accomplished comedian.