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Kay or Fey - the world's funniest people?

Kay or Fey - the world's funniest people? 1

I spent Friday evening as a guest of the marvellous Sister Snog at the O2 Arena with ring side seats for Peter Kay, possibly one of the world's funniest people.  More of that later...  

Conversely I then picked my way through a lengthy article in yesterday's Observer which billed Tina Fey as 'the world's funniest woman'.   Now, that's a pretty big claim for a land that has such huge talents as Joan Rivers, Ellen de Generes, Roseanne Barr, Sarah Silverman and Sandra Berhardt at the bosom of it's comedy heritage. I'm sure they'll all have something to say about this!

Wild claims from across the Atlantic aside, being dubbed the 'world's greatest' at anything should be reserved for the side of a pottery mug!  It's a helluvalot to live up to.  I'm not sure that Kay or Fey would really thank us for the epithet.

BUT... as far as Friday night was concerned Peter Kay was the funniest man on earth for two glorious hours 'stretched from 20 minutes of material' to manage expectations! At time of writing I can't think of a single female British comic who could fill the O2 Arena for a week or more - I'm working on it but the public seem more confortable with a blokey approach to arena comedy even though Kay covers a range of topics startling in their metrosexuality.

So to the promised review. Kay delivers a range of wonderful everyday situations familiar to us all, brilliantly updated and reworked since his last stadium tour seven years ago. Those of us in attendance are still stuck in a rictus smile as we recount the many magic moments from the show to less fortunate friends and family. His humour is not 'alpha male' and he covers topics that are as familiar to women as men. 

He relives childhood memories at the expense of his unfortunate father's manhood - the mass anticipation of a full O2 Arena as Kay mimed the holiday incident with a fold up plastic sun lounger was even more funny than the inevitable punch line.  

His matey-ness with the several thousand strong audience is amazing.  Kay's 'get to know you' chat was conducted with a film camera on his shoulder so that the audience could see who he was talking to projected on the big screens on stage.

We were treated to a snapshot of life in Kay's living room sharing his frustration at television: "there's more channels than there are good programmes" and the vagaries of dealing with iPlayer, plus stations, catch up TV and more. Then a visit to his booby-trapped bedroom where a fall following an encounter with a rogue shoe in the middle of the night becomes a heart attack. As does a shopping trip to the supermarket with tips for jumping the queue and confusing the self service till. Kay even tackles traditional female topics like weight loss and takes an almost feminine stance on technology as he describes his attempts to 'tech' up his Nan.

Two days on and the recall is still good but I'm also now more confident that there is a female contender out there for the 'Britain's Funniest' crown... The very same night as I sat in a full O2 Arena a 90 -strong female audience at the Dartmouth Apprentice in Devon enjoyed an extended 20-minute-come-one-hour set from the irrepressible Suzy Bennett, winner of the 2006 Funny Women Awards. I don't think it will be too long before we see her in front of some pretty big crowds. Watch this space!

This is what they said about our Ms Bennett: "Just wanted to say a big thank you for sending Suzy to us, she was absolutely brilliant.  The 90 ladies loved every minute and have already called for a repeat!" Nina Stanesby, venue manager.  

Now that would be a show - Peter Kay and Suzy Bennett together.  As long as there's no IKEA wardrobes involved!  

Lynne Parker

 

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