The Phoenix, Oxford Circus, London, 16/09/2019
At the beginning of tonight’s show Michael Legge tells us he’s going to be doing the set as if he’s still performing it in Edinburgh, with all of the references to the festival left in, starting with an attack on The Stand comedy venue for letting him perform there despite the fact that he’s standing next to a huge glowing neon red sign displaying the name of the venue he’s actually in. He gets away with it though as he’s such an accomplished performer, getting even more laughs than he would have in Edinburgh itself.
More discussion of the festival follows (along with just how much he hates the Ukulele) before he mentions that he’s deliberately trying to be controversial so that he can get a Netflix special, just like those young edgy comedians like Ricky Gervais, and it’s this which allows him to launch in to a hilarious attack on Gervais and how his career exists due to his plagiarism of others, Garry Shandling especially. Legge’s on impressive form when it comes to attacking comedians in the show, with a great bit on Louis CK and his absurdly quick return to the comedy scene also generating a lot of laughter.
These early parts are extremely funny, but they mainly serve as a warm up to his main frustrations about idiots who say or do stupid things, and the king of doing such a thing for Legge is undoubtedly Jacob Rees-Mogg, who somewhat insanely recently made ill judged comments about Ireland and The Troubles, wanting a similar inspection when it comes to the country’s borders. The invective poured upon Rees-Mogg is gloriously funny, and Legge’s anger is constantly inventive and hilarious, and incredibly deserving too.
It also leads in to him talking about his own memories of the troubles, what his own parents were like and how they dealt with it, along with dafter anecdotes like the time his Dad caught him lighting one of his own farts. As much as it is an angry rant against the idiots of the world (which Legge suggests he is one of as well, which is the one time I’m not convinced by something he says) it’s also a selection of Legge’s own experiences, and they are equally as funny, especially when he compares himself to Iggy Pop in a stand out segment.
Legge was on the verge of becoming one of the best comedians the UK has to offer for a fair while, and with his previous show Jerk and this he’s now become such a thing. It’s a truly stunning hour of comedy, one which regularly is given rounds of applause from the audience because not only is Legge shockingly funny but the targets of his scorn greatly merit it. It’s a show that’s an absolute must see, and I’d be amazed if that doesn’t apply to whatever Legge does next as well.