Comedy: He came, he saw, he threw some lovely pots

AT LAST, a man in an apron who makes you laugh. For too long we have suffered as too many cooks have clogged the schedules showing off their chicory-pokery and transforming camp cooking from an activity practised by boy scouts into a thriving cottage industry. Johnny Vegas is the backlash. A man who wears an apron but doesn't cook. A potter with a past. A man who "lives for clay" and was "the only one to believe that clay was the way".

From the moment he propels himself on to the stage in a wheelchair - think a youngish Ironside after one too many Thanksgiving dinners - he mesmerises the audience. And an hour and a half later you are still watching, and still laughing at a man who is "not a comedian, but an entertainer". He achieves this through a winning mix of love and hate. Vegas loves the ladies and he woos them with his analogies: "In a street full of churches, I'm an alcoholic and you're an off-licence." "We're in the zoo of ethics and there's a sign above the cage saying, 'Do not feed the animal'."

These and other chat-up lines were munificently delivered to anyone who caught his eye until Johnny discovered there was a potter's wife in the audience. Vegas was smitten. It was out with the flash chat and in with the poignant moment as he said into her eyes, "It's so refreshing to find a member of the audience I can talk to these days."

Then, there was the hate. Vegas's targets included the press, obviously, for, less obviously, hounding his good friends Ken Barlow ("just because he's a great character actor doesn't mean he's boring") and Tom O'Connor ("doing the cruise ships and doing very well"). He also had a pop at the television executives who had come to check out "the potential of a pissed- up potter". "You're not even fur coat and no knickers, you're shellsuit with the crotch cut out, " said Vegas. A comment which at first glance may appear to have knocked his telly career on the head but, given the self-hatred rampant in the higher echelons of the industry, will probably gain him a six-part series.

The most hit upon target, however, was John from Beckenham, a cocky blond with a very odd chin. Vegas started by pointing out the obvious: "My big advantage is that I'm more pissed than you. You can call me what you like and six seconds later I'll forget it." He then went on the attack: "Stop trying to get laid on the back of my work." Before finishing him off with, "You are a suburb of silence on a road called respect. Shut the fuck up." The intensity of Vegas's attack was doubled by the fact that it was delivered from a wheelchair.

A bad night for Beckenham John. Earlier things had looked promising when he had successfully heckled supporting act Alan Wilde off the stage. For this John received the audience's gratitude as Wilde was so poor that Vegas had to deny that he'd only been booked to make the star look better. Having caused an early interval, Beckenham John was hugely happy. After it, Vegas taught him an elementary lesson - never bully someone smaller than you if their elder brother is coming to the playground later on.

Before Wilde, there was Dave Johns, who opened the show with an excellent set. Sure, there was one gag nicked from Kingsley Amis (Barber: How would you like you hair cut? Customer: In complete silence.) But to plagiarise Kingsley rather than Martin Amis shows fine taste and not a little style.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

    Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

    Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

    Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

    Day In a Page

    All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
    What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

    What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

    Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
    Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

    Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

    Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
    Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

    Radio 1’s new top ten

    The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
    Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

    Florence Knight's perfect picnic

    Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
    Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

    Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

    The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
    Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

    Mark Hix's summery soups

    Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
    Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

    Tim Sherwood column

    I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
    Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

    Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

    The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition