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When I was younger I had a television in my room. I blame that for my incredibly ...colourful... outlook on life. Like all kids (except for the fact I was a lot fatter) I would sneakily jump out of bed and put on all those programmes you really shouldn't be watching. Queer as folk was the only one that struck real fear of being caught watching it into my heart... though now I feel the need to go downlo...er...buy the box sets...hmm.
Anyway, usually I'd be lucky enough to catch some comedian or seedy late night film that I could sit and think "...what are they doing that to each other for??" while watching. Ahh those innocent days...
So one fine night I caught an ugly, fat, quite possibly drunk woman with awful hair who said "cock" a lot. After telling my aunt to get out of my bedroom, I turned the T.V. on and was greeted by a slightly more vile version of what had just left via my bedroom door. (I'm sure I've used that exact sentence when talking about some men I've brought home too...hmm...)
Needless to say, I loved this woman. She said cock! She also said a few other words that I later looked up and giggled. I then promptly forgot all about her. 'Till recently.
Browsing around on play.com (where I get all my DVD type objects from) through a process of clicking randomly I came to "Jo Brand: Barely Live". My heart stopped, I remembered her being quite outspoken, bold and hilarious. Mummy? Is that you?? Surely this would cure my boredom for 1 hour and 10 minutes (approx)!!
After throwing my debit card details at play.com for the tenth time that hour, adding another £5.99 to my overdraft, I sat by my letter box to await my fat lady in a small box. Almost three minutes later (give or take a day or four and five bottles of boredom induced wine drinking) , it plonked through my letterbox. Carefully I unravelled the ever so lovingly packed Ms Brand...and then something awful happened.
First of all, the hangover kicked me in the head. Then I read the front of the box. Not only was it only a 15 rating meaning she can't be half as vile/crude/fat as I remember...there was a quote from the mirror (which is bad enough) saying that she is the "best FEMALE comic in Britain". To my horror a real newspaper (the independent) pretty much agreed by saying she is "Britain's funniest FEMALE comedian in years" .
"What's so wrong with that?!" I hear you big dirty feminists shout at me. Let me tell you. Saying she is the best female is a kin to saying "she's ok, but there's a whole 50% of the comedy population who's a lot better" I want someone who excels in her comedy enough to not be shoved into a gender. I WANT SEXLESS COMEDY!!!...Actually...I take it back. Either way, it did not look good from this point onwards.
Sheepishly, I popped this lady into my special place (the DVD player) and loaded her up. The menu could be navigated from twenty feet by a blind monkey in a washing machine caught up in your grannies biggest pants, so that's a plus. Maybe not for the monkey. We have the much loved Play option, Scene selection and an extras menu consisting of two small snippets of show that were taken out of the main DVD for reasons I am not quite sure.
The show Itself was filmed in the "world famous" Adelphi Theatre in around 2003. I use the speech marks because personally I've never heard of it, but then I am an uncultured swine.
Much to my horror, she has become quite tame in her later years. Given, I still wouldn't introduce her to my grandparents, mainly because they would probably scare the living crap out of her...But I expected more. Brand managed to raise slight giggles from me about twice. The rest of the show was spent prattling on about how she is actually female, confirming that she does, in fact, have a husband and then telling us she won't blether on about her children...and then doing so for the next half hour. Occasionally she'd shout cock, or snort a glob of snot in true lady like fashion and I would have a glimmer of hope ignited in me again. Overall though, the show was not half as funny as I was expecting. Jo Brand, you failed to meet my childhood expectations of you! Shame on you.
I would, however, still recommend you give this a go. Firstly its as cheap as Jordan (or chips) and secondly, it isn't entirely unfunny. She just isn't as funny as some of the better comics out there (shock horror) but then, as the mirror so eloquently pointed out...she is just a girl. She is, however, still a lot funnier than that other Brand "comedian" with the same hair. Excuse me while I run like buggery.
(also on ciao)