Review: Bill Bailey a comic rockstar

20:30, Sep 30 2012
Bill Bailey
British comic Bill Bailey had audiences eating out of his hand from the very beginning of his Wellington performance.


Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, September 28

To sell out two shows while the World of WearableArt is in town is no easy feat. Already it's clear Bill Bailey is a big deal.

He's been named one of the funniest acts in British comedy several times and rightly so, because his 10th touring show, titled Qualmpeddler, is a masterpiece of side-splitting genius. As soon as Bailey takes the stage, the audience is eating out of the palm of his hand. All he has to do is make a few silly noises, and the crowd is already in laughing fits.

The humour comes from the sheer silliness and absurdity of his act as much as it comes from the sharp and clever punchlines and highly cynical but ultimately true observations of the modern world.

''Today's celebrities aren't the brightest and, as a result, people are starting to catch secondhand stupid,'' he tells us early on.


There's no denying Bailey is a man capable of calling it how it is.

He's not afraid to take the mickey out of the most controversial topics, especially religion, often pushing his atheistic viewpoints for a laugh. He gets away with it because he's still clever, witty, and a bit silly about it, as opposed to straight-out religion bashing. Knowing how to work a crowd is another one of Bailey's strong points, he works at creating a forum kind of atmosphere, often asking the audience questions, waiting for a correct answer and ridiculing the incorrect ones.

This opened him up to a lot of heckling, where he got everything from smart-arse answers to inaudible garbles. However, Bailey met every one of these head on.

To call Bailey a mere comedian is an understatement, considering he would often spontaneously break out into song on one of his plethora of instruments, including his keyboard, electric guitar, recorder, and even a keyboard made of bicycle horns.

An incredibly resourceful entertainer of many talents, accents and quick jokes, Bailey is a comedy rockstar.

The Dominion Post