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The basic Al Murray act is as a pub lnadlord, a working man of the people with some right wing patriotic views however some might be surprised to learn that while his right wing opinions might fit in with his real life persona he is not a working class lad as he went to an expensive private school and comes from a privaleged background.
I must say I do find him funny but only in small doses, he is better as a short rather than a whole yard of ale if you can allow me this one awful pun (unfortunately there are probably more to follow). This is basically the problem with this live performance, it soon becomes as stale as a week old pork pie and as tough to endure as a pork scratching.
He is still very good at interacting with his audience and taking the mickie out of them as he shows his sharp mind, able to spring forth off the cuff comments feeding off their answers to his rather simple questions.
I found that more recently his humour has taken on a more cruder, basic feel to it and this is reflected on this live performance, gone are the more intelligent parts to his act and this is a shame as he has lost some of the innovation he is capable of. For me it feels as though the character has really run its course and maybe he needs to hang up the bar towel, call time on the act and convert to a nice little bistro pub of a stand up act.
Not a DVD I would recommend, instead you should hunt out his earlier work which was a lot funnier and with some clever material, after all the joke is mainly on the audience and the self deprciating way that we laugh at ourselves and those who take themselves too seriously.
Al murray is probally every body's friday night programme it sure is mine and fill so disappointed when it ends.
I love the part where he asks the front row for there lovely brithish names and jobs and kinda puts them down a bit but in a funny way.
I think the whole big bob part is very funny and not forgetting his wife anne.I love his interviews to celebs and if they have done something enbarrising he doesent let them live it down and the point of shame and love his little growling dog and ching ching button.
So i found the d.v.d i bought my dad for christmas was great.It lasted for around neary 2 hours.He shammed alot of people which i thought was great and big bob and his wife anne was there too.
And of course they pointed the finger of shame and he did some unusual hillariouse things on the d.v.d
I must say my favourite part was the extra time as he is so different in real life and actually quite posh and it showed the making and things you wouldent believe was behind the scenes and you also get to see him live in a few other towns little shows.
And at the end he does a great song performance that he actually wrote him self how great is that.The audiance loved the preformace and i could watch it over and over again.
Al Murray is an enigma to me. I have a very modern sense of humour and so bar a few things anything before the 1980's seem kinda flat. Especially the kind of comedians Al Murray is reminiscent of. You know the type, racist, sexist, homophobic and cliched jokes about mother in laws and how England beat Germany in the 1966 world cup, I would rather eat sand than watch anything of that sort. And yet I love Al Murray, I think he's hilarious!
I think it's because he knows exactly what he's saying is stupid that's funny for me, it's done in an ironic way, he's sending up the people down the pub who make these kind of jokes and he does it brilliantly. It's like crossing one of those old fashioned comedians with Albert Einstein. He is a very intelligent person, he knows at least some French and German, can ad-lib fantastically and is not afraid to embarrass himself to get a laugh. He covers such subjects as The War on Terror, Hell and life itself, all delivered in his unique style. There aren't much extras to speak of, just a relatively short behind the scenes extra which gives a more in-depth look at Al and his comedy routine.
I have heard people saying how British people have lost their identity, personally I don't see it myself, but maybe that's why some people like him? Because there's something very cheeky and charming about him that's why we let him get away with it.
I don't know, all I know is Al Murray is one of the best British comedians around today and if you haven't seen any of his stuff I recommend you do!
The ancient Rotherhithe Tunnel under the Thames was built with a bend so the horses pulling the carriages and carts couldn't see the light at then end of the tunnel that would make them bolt. Al Murray is in a similar tunnel and really needs to see the light at the end of it. His rightwing ranting pub landlord character is dead in the water now. This was a painful rent. I should have seen this coming after his tedious ITV show in recent months.
When Murray finally won the Perrier Award in 2001(the big break for any up and coming comic) the knowing panel (I think you can picture them) that voted him in where the same people that once laughed at his act. But now the butt of his jokes, that tattooed and opinionated working class male with more than hint of the BNP about them, propping up the iffy bars on a Monday night, have become his core punter paying on the gate. The knowing middle class crowd 'that got the joke' have long since deserted him, just like the constructed and clever jokes, the act well and truly 'dumbed' down for that new and rather ironic punter that packs his shows out now. It's almost as if the audience thinks he is a real barman and have come to worship the messiah of pub culture, the joke very much lost on the unsophisticated audience of 2007.
The opening sections of any comedians act is the most critical, Murray the bold and bravest stand-up out there when it comes to audience bating and interaction, all too willing to josh with the punters to get the gig going. He does this thing where he asks the front row their names and what they do for a job, trying to gage the social mix of the night's crowd, and so slaughtering them appropriately. In the old days it would be boat designers and city lawyers on the first row, Murray's sharp 'improv' primed to knock them down a peg or two, they paying the extra for exactly the privilege, in that true British humor self-deprecating way. Because his act has lost that original and subtle sophistication that got the white-collar punters in through the doors so to snigger at the working class through the big mouth landlord up on sage, the show has become a parody of itself. Al Murray really is just a loud mouth landlord to the audience and they agree with his politics. To put it succinctly: they really don't get the fact the joke is on them and Murray is holding them in contempt.
Every comedian dreams of playing the Palladium and Murray is no different, here the DVD a compellation of his two and only live shows at the prestigious venue this year (2007). Its the latest in a long line of seasonal Al Murray 'live at' DVDs and the balding one is no different to any other stand-up when it comes to cashing in at Christmas. If you have seen his stage show this year then I don't think you will be buying this anyway and if you haven't I still think you shouldn't. Al Murray has lost his edge and sold out. It's not what you are used to with Murray.
I remember when Murray used to do these really clever set pieces in the stage act and one particular one where he played a Beethoven tune on the piano that also doubles up as one of our most famous nursery rhymes, Murray giving quite ca lever synopsis of why this is. He really did do innovative stuff and underneath that boisterous persona there was a real depth to his act. But that was two or three years ago and when you see his ITV stuff you can see now that his target audience is crude and basic. It's quite sad really because when Murray's flying on stage he is up there with Johnny Vegas and Bill Bailey as a comic that can hold the crowd by the balls for an hour or even two. Half-way through this, after the formalities of the now familiar opening, you have to hit the still-pause before you tire of it all. This is not the Al Murray I know. If ever a DVD needed an interval it's this one. You desperately want it to work but it doesn't.
After the familiar xenophobic rants on our European partners and the decay of the modern British boozer there are no surprises here. Gone are the clever set-pieces and thought out sketches, in are the obvious jokes and pisstakes. Yes you laugh in the first twenty minutes but when it dawns on you there's nothing clever here you begin to flag. After this I wonder if Murray himself is now thinking of chucking it in now or at least reinventing himself as a new character.
Steve Coogan once said that playing places like Watford and Lincoln was never quite the same as Liverpool and Birmingham, not so much the size of the crowd but the warmth coming off it. People that come from places that they like and so can identify with, places that tend to have distinct ascents and a sense of humor born out of that, also have the punters that let the comic be self depreciating and let him or her rip the piss pout of them the most. People from Watford and Luton have no warmth for their town and so don't laugh when the comic mocks them and their relationship to it. It's just somewhere they live, unlike Scousers and Mancs. When I saw Murray in London he was far better than he was in Northampton. The front row in the Derngate Theater were indeed warehouseman and yes, publicans, here because there's nothing else to do in this town and so worship man who speaks their language of frustration with Little England. I think it's fair to say that the Al Murray's character was based on the pubs in towns like these and now he's come home to roost.
- SPECIAL FEATURES -
Only the one piece of additional stuff here, a simple hand held camera piece here with the real Al Murray taking us through his week building up to the gig. Yes he's very well spoken and nothing like his persona.
Running time: 68 minutes...
-Ratings. Imdb.com scores it 8.8 from just 12 votes. I think we know where most of those votes came from.
Amazon price it at £11.98
In Al Murray: The Pub Landlord - Live At The Palladium, Al performs his unique and hilarious brand of comedy at the London Palladium, where he performed his sell-out live show 'And Another Thing' in 2007.