Arts | Josh Widdicome – Live at the Riley

Known for his appearances on television shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and The Last Leg, Josh Widdicombe has become a familiar face on the British comedy scene. The thirty-one year old from Devon dropped into Leeds University Union this week for a ‘Live at the Riley’ session as part of a series that is bringing the best in comedy on campus.

His presence was surely due to the fact that his style of comedy particularly resonates with the student population.  Jokes ranging in subject matter from super noodles and the absurd conversations you have with your parents, to the curse of homemade jam are undeniably relatable to us all. Whilst they aren’t the big political or social issues that some comedians attempt to wrestle with, his dealing with the little inconveniences that crop up on a day-to-day basis had the audience rolling their eyes and huffing in the most British of ways.

Widdicombe was effortlessly charming, perhaps because we all know someone a bit like him; the slightly awkward slacker type whose comedic outrage elevates the most banal of subjects to laugh-out-loud status. The real highlight, though, was his interaction with the audience, which featured heavily in the hour-long set and brought some of the biggest laughs of the night. It’s always a technique that can backfire, but thanks to a room full of keen participants happy to laugh at themselves (be it their lack of employment post-graduation or surviving on ‘ham on toast’ until the loan comes in) it was all in good jest.

The support act, Suzy Ruffell, was also worthy of note, a nice contrast from Widdicombe but pitched perfectly for the audience, with jokes about coming out as gay to her parents and stealing a cat. The cat joke also invoked a response from one audience member who was quite vocal about their dislike of felines, but Ruffell dealt with it all in good humour. She also does a really good Josh Widdicombe impression, which is always worthy of noting.

Comedy Central Live is LUU’s new comedy night, taking place monthly in Stylus and featuring a line-up of great comedy talent. The first event takes place on Wednesday 8th October and features Gary Delaney, Carl Donnelly & Andrew Ryan. See the LUU Events page for more details.

Hannah Woodhead

Photo property of Andy Hollingworth

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