Phil Kay

FYI: Don't leave your seat if you value your relationship

archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 07 Aug 2007
Phil Kay is something of a workaholic when it comes to the Edinburgh Fringe. A veteran performer of standup for almost 20 years, he returns to the Gilded Balloon with not one but two shows per day. Naturally, during his long career he has had less successful shows, but 2007 is the year to welcome back a comedian at the very top of his game. If properly prepared with an open mind and a pint of The Gilded Balloon's cheapest, Kay will take you effortlessly on an hilarious journey into the cavernous depths of his imagination.

Kay regards himself as a “post-humour comedian,” which about sums up his joke-free approach to comedy. Utterly unprepared and frequently bewildered by his own ability to make his audience roar with laughter, his style is both haphazard and extremely effective. It’s a real struggle to come away from his show with memorable soundbites, but this is down to the pace and fervour of his ramblings. The amount of spilt beer on your lap seems to be the best indicator that you’ve barely stopped giggling like a child for the duration.

Subjects such as the versatility of honey (it is probiotic, analgesic, antibacterial and tasty on bread), and the ethics of muffin theft form the bulk of Kay’s musings. But his real moments of genius emerge when he’s talking to the audience. Indeed, when one poor man decided to make a quick exit to the toilet, he returned to find a bollock-naked Kay sat in his seat, serenading his date for the evening.

Kay is simply a master of unpredictability. It’s about time we took his advice and welcomed back the bearded bohemian.