— 13th February 2004
Last year we went to see a comedian called Daniel Kitson. He was excellent.
So good was he in fact that I was (so I’m told) first in the que at the Leed City Varieties to get tickets for, this time, not only me and Kirsty but also Kev, Rob and my sister Polly and her fella James. So this time I was slightly more concerned that he’d turn out to be good, having recommended him to people and that. Luckily he didn’t dissappoint. With the exact same style that so endeared me to him last year he performed a completely new, and yet somehow exactly the same, set - which if you like the guy is exactly what you want.
One thing which was clearer this year which is maybe one reason I like him so much is that Kitson is obviously a huge fan of comedy itself. Not just in a “it’s his profession” kind of way but maybe more in the slightly obsessive, geeky way of a real fan. At one point admitting to staying in on Friday nights when he was young to watch Cheers, and at another launching into long, academic, exagerated, but entirely lucid account of his “theory of comedy” which he said is his gut response to the interview question "So Daniel what is your comedy all about?". This is also evident in one of his comedic ticks which involves rapidly deconstructing the previous joke in a self-depreciating way and which ends with a punchline of it’s own which often equal to if not more funny than the original joke.
You feel like he’s doing good comedy because he not only knows what good comedy is, he knows how it works and he really cares about it being right. At one point he gets a few sentances into a joke and then drops it with the line "and that’s the basis for another comedians material". Obviously a knowing dig at fellow comics who steal the material of others, as well as an acknowledgment of how hard it can be to avoid doing so.
So Daniel just talks about his life. Makes it look easy. Makes the process of writing a 2 hour (plus!) stand up set look like nothing more than a quick trawl back over what’s been happening to him over the last year. He lets you into how it works without fear that it’ll spoil the joke. In fact he lets “how it works” become the joke and that becomes a joke too. He makes 3 or 4 stories stretch into a longer evening of comedy than nearly any comedian I’ve seen (the £16 for a taxi home coz we missed the last train was well worth it) but it was never boring, he’s someone you can just listen to.