Greg Davies is middle aged (44 as he keeps reminding his mostly younger audience), overweight (he’s grown into and out of his faded black t-shirt some time ago) and freezing cold (so put a jumper on, his mum would advise – it’s winter already).
But he’s thrilled to have finally made it to Blackpool’s North Pier (“I’ve done it mum” he shouts) then ruins the moment by adding “I’m the only comic in history to be pleased to be playing the end of the pier.”
He’s not, of course, but then again there probably wasn’t a queue forming to make a debut on a wet and windy night in the middle of December.
There was, however, a queue forming to take their seats in the near capacity theatre to see the man who sprang to prominence as the sardonic head of the Sixth Form, Mr Gilbert, in the award winning series The Inbetweeners.
He actually is a former drama teacher (which explains a lot about the way he slips into the role of a comedian) and on the last night of his The Back of My Mum’s Head tour explains his stand-up routine in the form of a series of “learning objectives.” Nobody argues.
He’s a commanding figure in himself (nearer seven than six feet tall – and carrying quite a stomach) and after a 30 minute delayed start most people are just happy enough to see anyone on stage at all.
His routine is shared between personal put downs (“I’m a fat old man” he exaggerates, “a middle aged loser” - he’s singularly not the latter) and lengthy semi-autobiographical anecdotes which have their roots in truth but their branches in a vivid imagination.
A trip to Glastonbury with two similarly anachronistically dressed mates will have caused the nationwide binning of matching denim jeans and jackets, an argument about pies with a taxi driver started hilariously but by the end just made you want your supper.
A warning that we are all “grasping onto sanity by our fingertips” is close to home, an extended routine about involuntary noises is merely padding out flashes of brilliance with rather more juvenile episodes of self indulgence.
Opening the show was young comedian Ed Gamble with some good audience interaction and buckets of confidence.