Larry Dean is a knee-slappingly, stomach-crampingly funny man. In the basement of the Monkey Barrel, the Glaswegian comedian produces in his audience a very specific type of laughter: the type of laughter that continues for so long it eventually becomes silent, leaving you soundlessly gasping for air as a tear rolls down your cheek. He’s THAT good.
Dean’s stand-up show is sweary, sexual, and quintessentially Scottish. The set is varied and frank, with his short, punchy jokes dealing with everything from Brexit to his experience of coming out as gay in the city of Glasgow. His energetic delivery and razor-sharp one-liners combine to form an intelligent but uproariously funny performance.
The best thing about Dean is his honesty, coupled with his conversational style. He talks candidly about his life, and absolutely none of his material feels forced (the same can’t be said for the type of observational comedian he parodies at one point). There are even times when it feels as though you’re in a room with your lifelong friend – your friend who just happens to be destined for comedy stardom, that is.
Dean can be provocative, yes, but he consistently pulls it off. The humour is diverse – flitting between politics, personal anecdotes and Scotland-specific idiosyncrasies – which proves he has a keen comedic mind. With punchline after riotous punchline rolling off Dean’s tongue, the hour is gone in the blink of an eye. He is a prime example of a comedian at the top of his game, which means the only question left to ask is this: how do you improve on a show that seems this close to perfect?
Words: Morgan Laing
Larry Dean: Fandan, Monkey Barrel, August 3-27 (not 15), 6.40pm