x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Chuckles with British comedian Michael McIntyre in Dubai

McIntyre's act is inoffensive and comfortably predictable, but his wry observations are just original enough to provide plenty of mirth for all.

The British comedian Michael McIntyre performs in Dubai. Courtesy Done Events
The British comedian Michael McIntyre performs in Dubai. Courtesy Done Events

According to some calculations, Michael McIntyre is the most commercially successful comedian on the planet.

Last year alone, the British funster was reported to have made £21 million (Dh118m) in ticket sales from his stadium tour. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of DVD sales on top of that.

His popularity rests on the fact that, despite his vast fortune, he still portrays himself on stage as a hapless buffoon, readily admitting that he's prone to the social faux pas we all occasionally succumb to.

Then, he uses this persona to reel off a string of relatable observations about everyday matters.

So when he appeared at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Friday for the first of his two-night stand, his perceptions of his host city covered some predictably facile topics.

The unbearably hot weather of the summer months was joked about, as was the overt opulence of the populace.

He also jested that while Dubai might have the tallest buildings, the largest man-made islands and the vastest malls, it also had "the shortest breaking distances", referring to motorists' propensity for tailgating.

While it struck a chord with the mainly British expatriate crowd, this material didn't really compare in quality to the generic gags from his UK tour.

A highlight was his brilliant deconstruction of the phonetic spellings of people's first names, imagining a social gathering made up of guests with the same names, all spelt slightly differently ("no party's complete without them, the three Shauns are here - Shaun, Sean and Shawn").

While an anecdote about a disastrous trip to the dentist, in which an intractable wisdom tooth led to hospitalisation, was pure slapstick in its hilarity.

The Sheikh Rashid Hall auditorium was almost at full capacity for this show. And despite tickets costing up to Dh1,000 per seat, everyone seemed happy with the fact that they were adding to McIntyre's reputed substantial riches.

Yes, his act is inoffensive and comfortably predictable, but his wry observations are just original enough to provide plenty of mirth for all.

Even if you weren't rolling on the floor in convulsions of laughter, one couldn't help but sport a permanent smile.

 

hberger@thenational.ae