In the short space of five years, Simon Amstell’s popularity has gone from strength to strength. Adored by a generation of students when he used his acidic wit to hilarious effect against unsuspecting pop-stars in Pop World he then managed to convert the rest of Britain into rabid fans when he triumphed as the new host of Never mind the buzzcocks. After last year’s sell out Fringe show, he has made a glorious return and, judging by the extra dates added, is going to be just as popular.
Deserving every bit of praise, Amstell has the audience in the palm of his hands at all times. Confident, yet grounded, his stand up routine features some brave and unique subject matter, ad he mixes sad personal stories about his failed relationship with his long term partner, with even more devastating experiences of being in both Thailand and New York when two of the well known disasters have occurred. He succeeds, though, in finding the humour in the darkness, combining the absurd with the tragic. Take for example the moment he witnessed the Tsunami happening when on holiday in Thailand, as the giant wave heads towards him, he sees that none of the holiday guests are running away. Amstell was unsure of the etiquette of the situation and ended up being hit by the water. It’s a fascinating and emotional story that manages to shock and laugh at the same time.
Amstell never falters in delivering thought-provoking, hilarious comedy. For once this is an artist who truly deserves his ever increasing popularity.