Review: Three White Guys

Emma Weleminsky-Smith 21 May 2013

ADC Theatre, Sat 18th May, 11pm

Three White Guys showcased some of Cambridge’s best stand-up. It got big laughs even from the exam-stressed crowd, proving a great antidote to the monotony of revision.

Having seen two of these comedians in an awkwardly un-funny show last year, I was a bit dubious about this show but Three White Guys was highly amusing for the most part, perhaps achieved by steering-clear of the ‘ha ha I’m so socially awkward’ line and coming up with some more creative material.

The compere (Ian Samson) started the night well, and despite a bit of slightly forced audience participation managed to hold the show together nicely, using an ‘Elton John and the recession’ graph to great effect. But the star of the show for me was Ben Pope, who on the topic of skinny jeans for men asked: “Why would you vacuum pack your testicles in denim?!?” and described Dubstep as “like a heron being beaten to death by a sack of fire alarms”. His material was set apart from the others by its excellent flow and fluidity; every line was well delivered, and apart from my geeky-theologian worry about the accuracy of his portrayal of Catholic salvation (!), I couldn’t fault him.

However, I was somewhat less impressed by Jamie Fraser, who appeared to be the newbie of the group. He showed some real promise with some great material about twitter-stalking (“she’s not really my girlfriend, but I am following her!”), but he opened up with some stuff about Thatcher’s death, which he later explained was purposefully un-topical, but was just not that funny. For Fraser there were some points where it felt that the audience were laughing more at the awkwardness of people not laughing than at the material itself. But considering how much Ben Pope and Ian Samson have improved since I last saw them I think Fraser has the potential write a great set with a little more work on content.

Ken Cheng came a close second to Ben Pope on laughs; his gags about how a racist pro-life girl he was chatting up surely could no longer hold both views once “I’d put my baby inside her” was one of the standout lines of the night. He seemed to recognise that he may have peaked early with this joke in the middle of his set, but I admit there were a couple of jokes towards the end that got big laughs that I really didn’t understand. I’m not sure if that was just because I’m not ‘down with the kids’ or because he didn’t pace his jokes quite right.

Overall, Three White Guys was a fun show with lots of great lines. Although there is always room for improvement, this show fitted the bill of lightening up the exam term gloom.

Emma Weleminsky-Smith