I don't know about you, but in this day and age I find it quite hard to be surprised, or really impressed. Granted, the Tupac hologram was up there this year, but it doesn't happen often, even to me who is still relatively young.
Which is why when I went along to a Wednesday night late show for Clayton Carrick-Leslie's opening night, I experienced something which can only be described as unexpected satisfaction. I was impressed.
Carrick-Leslie's show is based on talking about 'what he knows,' and he knows a lot about his many subjects ranging from restaurant food, pop music and internet dating. What the audience doesn't know, however, as they sit patiently waiting for the show to begin, how hilariously deft his observations are, and soon hearty laughs are filling the room, and don't stop until the very end. The show is well-constructed and linked throughout, while still covering a random selection of anything-but-mundane everyday activities.
There's a common stereotype out there that comedians are crass, particularly the lesser known ones, and like all good stereotypes they've usually arisen from repetitive exposure to 'the type.' Carrick-Leslie is the opposite of the classic lout. He's well-spoken, wearing a tailored suit (from Crane Brothers, he notes), and belies any memory of the loud foolish comedian. There are glimpses of vulgarity (which I quite enjoy but don't tell anyone), but on the whole his material is decent, which proves he is genuinely talented rather than just funny because he's rude or assails the punters daring to sit in the front row.
You won't forget a name like Clayton Carrick-Leslie any time soon, nor should you. He'll only get better. One to watch.