02nd Sep2019

‘Paul Chowdhry: Live Innit’ – Amazon Comedy Special Review

by Chris Cummings

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Paul Chowdhry is someone I’ve been familiar with for a while, from his previous comedy specials (What’s Happening White People? and PC’s World) as well as some of his film roles (Colour Me Kubrick, Swinging With The Finkels). He’s a funny comedian and I’ve enjoyed his previous work on stage, so I was down to check out his new special on Amazon Prime entitled Live Innit.

Now, he isn’t a comedian shy to be blunt and full-on with both his jokes and his crowd interactions. There’a a lot of jokes about terrorism and the generalisation of how racist folk see Asian folks. The stereotyping of race is his bread and butter and a large amount of his comedy shows, including this one, surrounds that. Sometimes it’s funny, other times it gets a bit tired, a little typical, but also quite alarming in the sense that as a world things haven’t moved forward with views, opinions and ignorance to other people, other cultures, other lifestyles. It’s highlighted in Chowdhry’s comedy. Sometimes I laughed, sometimes I didn’t, but the crowd on hand for the recording ate it all up as they always do. His delivery, so matter-of-fact, is part of his charm.

There’s plenty of controversial topics to be found amongst the set, from discussions of certain celebrities like Michael Jackson to Princess Diana. We’ve heard jokes like these so many times and in so many ways that it’s become bad taste 101, something you almost expect from comedians who’s style is to hit hard and get a few shocked laughs and “oooh”’s from the audience. There are a bunch of “gay jokes” here too. Too many, and while I didn’t find them to be homophobic jokes particularly, it was odd how many times he went back to this.

There are a few jokes about his experiences, about how people view him on the streets and such, that are funny and entertaining, but for every laugh and enjoyable aspect to his stand-up there’s a tasteless and tired joke, or one that just goes on too long and ends with a fizzle instead of a bang. Now, he has his audience and people who know what he’s about and enjoy the hell out of it, and that’s cool. I don’t dislike him and sometimes his jokes land, but I also felt a bit underwhelmed by much of it. There does become a point, for me anyway, where the same theme being banged on about too often becomes a bit stale, and my interest wanes.

Still, there are some fun lines in here and routines that are a blast to listen to. It’s a rollercoaster of a comedy special, up one second and down the next. I do find comedy to be very subjective in this format, though, so others may love everything about Paul Chowdhry’s new special and others might dislike most of it. It was 50/50 for me. I’m over “bad-taste” comedy at this point when it comes to stand-up so those aspects were something I struggled to dig. It didn’t offend me. I wasn’t outraged. I just didn’t find a lot of those jokes particularly funny. Other times I thought he livened things up nicely and was good.

Hit and miss, for sure, but Live Innit is still worth a watch if you’re a stand-up fan.

**½  2.5/5

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