David Ephgrave is a refreshingly down to earth comedian who seems well-versed in the art of self-deprecation. For much of his show, Ephgrave ponders the what-ifs and the might-have-beens of his career in the entertainment world – namely, what if he had achieved the same level of success as his actor friend, Sam Palladio? What might he have become, in that case?
The self-mocking that Ephgrave sustains throughout his set comes across as charming (even when he’s talking about excessive perspiration) and playful. However, he proves that making jokes at his own expense isn’t his only talent. Over the course of the show, we see some fairly keen-eyed humour, including a smart observation about the peculiar way in which one game show host inclines his head. There are some musical numbers thrown in there too, complete with original lyrics and a few good dance moves. Ephgrave also uses a projector screen to display video clips and graphs, which adds an extra dimension to his quirky brand of humour.
The comedy here can sometimes feel rather unremarkable, with the jokes veering into bland territory on a couple of occasions. However, Ephgrave’s upbeat, conversational tone helps him pull off the material, and the set is – on the whole – endearingly silly. You’re bound to have a giggle when Ephgrave reels off a devastatingly witty one-liner that actually earned a spot in The Telegraph’s ’60 funniest one-liners from the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe’ list.
Now Who’s a Comedian? ends with a clever callback to some earlier material, which rounds the show off nicely. This isn’t a routine that garners many belly laughs – but it’s a family-friendly slice of comedy fun delivered by an automatically likeable person.
Words: Morgan Laing
David Ephgrave: Now Who’s a Comedian?, Just the Tonic @ The Caves, Aug 18-27, 12pm