Review: Tim Vine – ‘Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim To You’

[First published on Quays News 03/10/15]

TIM VINE brought his unique brand of silly comedy to Bradford St Georges Hall last night with his new show Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim To You.

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The entrance for a comedian is vital. They need to look confident, composed, yet energetic. Vine certainly nailed the final one, popping out of a chimney positioned on the stage dancing hilariously to his own song. He is known for his comedic songs as well as his quick puns, but in this show he displayed his talent for physical comedy as the small, charming theatre was suddenly host to a display of ridiculous dance moves that had the entire audience in stitches.

Jeremy Vine, Tim’s brother and current contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, should certainly be asking for advice. After his opening foray there wasn’t any time for rest as the self proclaimed Punslinger ploughed into a series of chimney jokes, somehow squeezing numerous puns out of this one mundane object.

His delivery, as expected, was exceptional. It was quick and precise with exquisite timing, always fronting the joke out to make the audience laugh at the silliest of gags. His effort was faultless, and the smile on his face made it appear as if he was enjoying it as much as his audience. He received not one heckle, perhaps because of his infectious charm or simply because of the speed he delivers his act, making heckles a physical impossibility.

It wasn’t just a barrage of one-liners however. Lulls in the show were sparse as Tim would burst into song, which, although always ludicrous, were sung in tune and struck a chord with the audience. His box of props, always present in his shows, contained many delights. Some homemade with cardboard and a marker pen, others such as a huge microphone hat, were created at some price, but all accompanied with a silly song or hilarious quip.

Some of his jokes felt crafted rather than written, others, I’m still trying to work out. Donning a robot mask, then knitting and dancing to techno music stumped me entirely, but at the same time it was one of the best moments of the show. There were instances where Tim fully showed off his pun writing talent, reeling off a succession of jokes about a particular subject, and always riding the laughter and applause perfectly, rarely leaving an unwelcome gap or moving on too quickly.

Halfway through the show Tim regurgitated some old material. Despite being some of his best jokes of his career, it was difficult to sit through, feeling almost like punishment for being a fan. However, creating a full show put together with incredibly short jokes, never mind remembering it all, must be a laborious task.

In his encore however, he won back his fans. Over the years Vine’s songs have amassed into a greatest hits collection, allowing him to roll them out at will, a luxury other comedians don’t have. He started with Deep, a song requiring the audience to shout deep once the microphone is pointed at them. A song named Family Holidays then followed, but what pleased the audience most was his signature pen behind the ear routine, in which Tim tries repeatedly to throw a Biro behind his ear. Tension, expectation, disappointment and finally jubilation were all created by the simple act of throwing a pen behind an ear.

Tim Vine is a silly comedian, and by the glint in his eye and enormous grin, he knows it. That’s not in any way to his detriment. Silly comedy is extremely difficult to get right, but in this show, Vine certainly got it right.

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The Comedian’s Comedian podcast

The Comedian’s Comedian podcast consists of Stuart Goldsmith interviewing fellow comedians. But it’s more than the boring old interview that we’ve become accustomed to in which comedians just promote their latest tour, DVD or sitcom. Instead Stuart, a great interviewer, asks demanding questions to discover how the comic ticks.

Every episode is fascinating. Stuart, a brilliant comic himself, clearly has a real passion for his art and, along with his guest, they explore the inner workings of stand up. The comedians on the show are all fantastic and I’m always surprised about how much they are willing to open up about their comedy. The range of guests adds extra intrigue, exploring contrasting styles and varying stages of a career in comedy.

In over 150 episodes, Stuart has interviewed the biggest names – Stewart Francis, Jason Byrne, Tim Vine, Dara O Briain, Ross Noble, Jason Manford, Al Murray, Rhod Gilbert, Alan Davies and the names keep on going, chances are he’ll have spoken to you’re favourite comedian. As well as learning more about well known acts, it’s also fantastic for discovering new comics that are emerging or not classed as mainstream.

The depth in which comedy is discussed has taught me a great deal, giving me insight to help me write my stand up reviews. Every episode is unique in that every comedian works in a slightly differing way. I’m yet to listen to them all, but the best episodes in my opinion have been with Gary Delany, his explanation of how he forms one liners was outstanding, Jason Byrne was incredibly funny and of course my favourite comedian Tim Vine was in fine form.

If you’re a fan of stand up then comcompod is a must listen. I listen on Soundcloud, I’m sure it’s available on other podcasting sites or you can go direct to the website. There are also a few episodes or parts of episodes that are on their Youtube channel worth checking out.

Stuart himself is going on his first stand up tour (I wrote about it briefly here) and is a great comedian so be sure to check out some dates.

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Tim Vine Celebrates Christmas

Every Christmas I listen to this podcast. It’s typical Tim Vine: silly, ludicrous and hilarious. The videos used to be scattered all over YouTube but thankfully they’ve been collated and knitted together. Some of the jokes are just stupid, but it’s Tim and his delivery that makes them so funny. Most of the puns are original for this podcast, not repeating old jokes, or using the ones here in his work since. The songs are more ridiculous than the jokes and the character voices even more so. The audience don’t give Tim the laughs he deserves, but he ploughs on regardless. Give it a listen, it’s half an hour of pure stupidity.

Review: Tony Vino Live

TONY VINO has joined Tim Vine partway through his latest stand up tour, Tim Timee Tim Tim Timee To You. Last Friday they performed at Bradford’s St Georges Hall and I was lucky enough to be there.

Upon seeing Tony Vino’s name on the poster I was quite disappointed. I really wanted to see Tim Vine’s usual warm up act John Archer, but I was willing to give Vino a go.

Strolling out into the spotlight of the small, traditional theatre, Vino was confronted by an initially cold audience in anticipation for the headliner Tim Vine. However, he was clearly aware of his audience as his set started with a Yorkshire focused routine, slamming nearby towns and imitating the accent, risky, but executed in a charming way to get the audience onside.

His half hour of material was tight and well rehearsed. Anecdotes about his parents and travels while on tour were sprinkled with gags to keep the laughter going, and his friendly tone allowed the audience to warm to him easily. He kept his comedy clean, in keeping with Tim Vine’s style who would be stepping on stage later.

A particular anecdote concerning the price of a ticket to see The Lion King theatre production really livened up his show. He asked the audience what they thought of the £60 tickets. This resulted in the Bradford crowd responding in a hilariously stereotypical manner. He was quick to respond to any heckles, but his responses weren’t the most original, despite this, they did the trick, allowing him to control the room comfortably.

Vino ended his show off the back of his Lion King anecdote by imitating a grand spectacle from the show. Four burly men were dragged up on stage and told to lean back on chairs, later taken away meaning they had to hold each others weight. Animal masks were then thrown off stage, caught by clearly reluctant audience members who were then forced to dance awkwardly on stage. Confetti blasters, a cuddly toy lion and the circle of life echoing round the theatre, completed the pathetic scene to prolonged laughter.

As the show petered out, Vino held a stare at an audience member who had been charged with firing confetti into the air. “It’s duff!” bellowed a broad Yorkshire accent to which Vino grabbed the blaster and fired it into the front row.

If a chance comes across to see Tony Vino, go and see him. His delivery is easy going and he offers a fun uplifting night. Check out his website here.Check out his website here.

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