In the spirit of a show whose title alludes to Columbo, let me do first what old-school American detective-shows did best, the summation: 31-year-old radio and TV presenter Alex Zane is a nice enough bloke whose comedy shtick doesn't seem to have come on since his early success, aged 18, in the Fringe-based So You Think You're Funny? competition. Case closed.
Has a man who talks about urinal etiquette and the sensation of wearing just a T-shirt really moved on from starter-kit comedy? A lot has happened in comedy since then and a lot has happened in Zane's own life too. He's gone from medical student to DJ (Xfm and NME Radio) and television presenter (Popworld and Rude Tube, all the greats), so you'd think that he'd have something to say for himself.
Yet, despite the pageant of Zane's life so far, there's very little of his soul on offer tonight save for stories that sound a little disingenuous about him being a briefcase-wielding geek at school, lower on the food chain than "the kid who ate mud for 50p".
As for medical school, surely a rich vein for japery, all we find out is that Zane used to study by watching the US hospital sitcom Scrubs. From this he surmises blandly that "laughter is not the best medicine – it's chemotherapy". Where one seeks insight, one finds lists of bad film straplines or new categories for film awards. Strictly for his fan base, then.
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