tue 28/09/2021

Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club, Henley-Marlow review - Nish Kumar sticks it to the Tories | reviews, news & interviews

Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club, Henley-Marlow review - Nish Kumar sticks it to the Tories

Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club, Henley-Marlow review - Nish Kumar sticks it to the Tories

Passions run high with political gags

Nish Kumar got stuck in with some strong political material

Heckling at a drive-in gig is rather pointless, don't you think? The audience, mostly listening through their car radios, will be unable to hear the interruption, while the comic can deliver a slam-dunk put-down that we can all enjoy.

And so it proved at Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club as it pulled into Culden Faw Estate, between Henley and Marlow on the Oxfordshire-Buckinghamshire border.

The heckler was annoyed at headliner Nish Kumar's political gags, which were as bracing as the unseasonal weather. And whether or not you share them, fair play to the guy for sticking to his beliefs while sticking it to the Tories in this most blue part of South East England – Henley used to be Boris Johnson's constituency, after all.

Kumar, whose political satire show The Mash Report was recently dropped by the BBC, supposedly in an attempt to make the channel's comedy less obviously left of centre (although some would argue because it actually wasn't that good) clearly had a lot to get off his chest and, oh boy, did he – causing several punters to vote with their, er, feet on the pedal and drive off.

Detailing a list of Johnson's personal and political shortcomings over the past year – it was quite a long gag in the set-up – Kumar said: “Boris Johnson is a cunt... and anyone who voted Tory in 2019 is a cunt.” Like I said, oh boy. Kumar then laid into several members of Johnson's Cabinet (“also cunts”) and detailed the abomination of the Covid death toll in the UK.

It was a storming – and indeed stormy – set. As host Mark Watson said as he wrapped up the show: “As a comic known for being inoffensive, I got a vicarious thrill listening to that backstage.”

Earlier, two comics had served up less contentious – although no less entertaining – fare. Jen Brister, patently glad to be back in front of a live audience rather than a Zoom screen to ply her trade, spoke about her lockdown experiences where “halfway through the year I became a primary school teacher” to her six-year-old twins, who were not impressed.

She worries about reintegrating into society, where the most important transition will be from the joggers with an elasticated waist that she's lived in for the past year. And for anyone worried that they didn't use lockdown to improve themselves, Brister's got your back: Gwyneth Paltrow got a deserved kicking for worrying about eating some bread.

Catherine Bohart, meanwhile, took us through her lockdown, which included the end of a five-year relationship. She's back in the dating game now, and has hit upon a ruse for bisexual women like herself. When she's out and about she says she's gay rather than bisexual: “Women know I might be interested and men try a bit harder,” she deadpanned.

She mused on the differences between men and women in bed, which comes down to their view of sex toys. The Henley-Marlow crowd lapped it up.

So there you have it: Henley-Marlow says yes to sex toys, but draws the line at jokes about a massive tool.

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