Roy Chubby Brown/Kevin Bloody Wilson
Veteran 'adult entertainers' turn the Waterfront and the Ulster Hall into 'politically correct-free zones'
Roy Chubby Brown and Kevin Bloody Wilson – two names that strike fear into the hearts of sensitive, cultured souls everywhere. The controversial adult comedians, from northern England and the Australian outback respectively, revel in their outlaw status. At the Waterfront in Belfast, Brown addresses the crowd like a cult leader passing round the Kool-Aid, only here it’s blue jokes and saucy singalongs.
Wilson launches his latest Belfast show by declaring the Ulster Hall ‘a politically correct-free zone’. ‘Politically’ and ‘correct’ are two words that should never go together, he says, like ‘military’ and ‘intelligence’, or ‘fun’ and ‘run’. He segues to a gag about being invited to partake in a charity marathon ‘for crippled and blind kids’: ‘I thought, 'I could win that…'’
Wilson’s humour is not for everyone. Songs performed include ‘DILLIGAF’ (which stands for ‘Do I Look Like I Give A...’), ‘Hey Santa Claus (…Where’s my f*cking bike?’), ‘Kev’s Courting Song’ and the self-explanatory ‘You Can’t Say **** in Canada’. There are ditties about Aborigines, Maoris and Mexicans. It’s wild stuff, and the wordplay is dexterous and amusing.
Brown’s gags tend to revolve around sex, British politics and popular culture. A joke about Jordan being raped by a celebrity (however grotesque) is well delivered and gets a laugh out of this reviewer. A remark about ‘Obama’ being ‘sambo’ spelt backwards, on the other hand, just isn’t funny, mainly because it doesn’t make sense. There’s no punch line, other than the raucous roar of a baying mob.
Brown has a notorious reputation in the UK – indeed, a 2007 Channel 4 documentary, Roy Chubby Brown: Britain’s Rudest Comedian, portrayed him as a bigoted has-been – yet the comic has filled the Waterfront tonight. At certain points, the racist shtick threatens to overshadow the rest of Brown’s set, which is genuinely witty and entertaining. Wilson’s act feels less dodgy, perhaps because we aren’t used to his name being used as a byword for prejudice.
It’s interesting to note that, despite the comedians’ differing cultural and geographic backgrounds, some material is shared. Brown, 64, and Wilson, 62, both ruminate about the ageing process. ‘You know you’re getting old,’ says Brown, ‘when you watch a porno and think, 'That bed looks comfortable.'’ Three nights later, Wilson tells the same gag. Each also performs a version of Smokie’s ‘Living Next Door to Alice’ – Brown’s infamous ‘Who the F*ck Is Alice?’ and Wilson’s only slightly more subtle ‘Living Next Door to Alan’.
As for the punters, Brown has brought every knuckle-dragging Nuts reader out of Belfast’s woodwork, along with their spangly top-wearing girlfriends. They lap up his jokes about golliwog toys and the ‘pack of Stanleys’ who have moved in next door, only shifting uncomfortably in their seats when Brown performs an astonishing striptease. To the strains of Hot Chocolate’s ‘You Sexy Thing’, he peels off his trademark patchwork suit, leaving just the flying helmet, the goggles and an ill-fitting thong.
Wilson, meanwhile, insists on coming out front after the performance to meet and greet his audience, an Aussie ex-pat-heavy mob of good-natured drunks, including numerous buxom females. Despite Belfast being the final night of a presumably exhausting 73-date UK and Irish tour, Wilson remains in the Ulster Hall foyer for some time, autographing fans’ merchandise and several ladies’ breasts.
You don’t get this at a Mark Thomas gig.