The (Not So) Baby-Faced Glaswegian Comic by Andrea Grassi

Kind of late to the party I’ve discovered stand-up comic Kevin Bridges, a native of the Glasgow area. I don’t remember how I found him on YouTube, but (as it usually happens) I happened to find that someone uploaded his only live DVD “The story so far” (filmed in 2010) in seven parts – and I watched all seven parts. All I have to say is, what a guy. Imagine a cleaned-up, fried pizza loving, 25-year-old Billy Connolly. Yes, Bridges is 25. He looks 45, but he’s a mere quarter century and has already brought his funny to massive crowds around the UK.

Stand-up is an incredibly difficult art. It is kind of like running a marathon: you have to pace yourself, you have to be on time, and you have to know when to sprint to the finish (or perhaps a better verb would be “punch”). I have a cringe-worthy sense of empathy, the kind that goes as far as not being able to watch embarrassing or difficult scenes in movies. So I can’t watch a comic who is visibly nervous – all I’m thinking is, “I hope they laugh”. The nerves and lack of timing seen in a lot of comics is like a horrible smudge on the experience (comics like Jack Whitehall, who I love on panel shows but can’t watch live because he talks to fast, and Reginald D Hunter, who always sweats so much and has a tremble in his voice that makes me think he might break down in tears at any moment).

His youth is why I think Bridges deserves an entire post. Sure, he started when he was 17, so he’s had almost a decade to polish his material, but his delivery is something of legend. And given that he is so young, it is a wonder his style is situational and observational, as if he had years of experience to draw on as fodder. I can’t wait to see what he has to say in the coming years.

His new BBC show, “What’s the story” explores the tales behind his jokes and deconstructs some of them. It isn’t the greatest show, but there are a few glimmering moments (like when he meets the real Chad Hogan, a Utah kid who he unintentionally made famous in his “The story so far” set by using his namesake as a caricature for the quintessential popular American teenager having a springbreak house party.)

Watch one of his well-known jokes here: “Bus Stop”:


Andrea Grassi is a writer and blogger based in Toronto. For more musings, click:


Post a Comment