Comedy Review: The kooky crumbles

Jimeoin and Bob's Cooking Show Cochrane Theatre
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Indy Lifestyle Online
TV cookery shows may seem impossible to send up - the originals are already so absurd, after all - but stand-up comedians Jimeoin and Bob Franklin have a damn good crack at it.

Crack is the operative word, as the Irishman Jimeoin and his Cockney cohort Franklin get up to everything except actually cooking anything.

Whether vainly adjusting their chef's hats in the mirror, striking inane frozen poses over pieces of toast, or parroting their increasingly pointless catchphrase - "What are we cooking on the show tonight?" - the pair have nicely captured the essential banality of TV cooks. With amusing interventions from the Australian stand-up Glenn Robbins, Jimeoin & Bob's Cooking Show throws up such key questions as: why do television chefs always gratuitously offer guests black pepper from a phallic grinder with everything - even Guinness? And why do they say things like: "We're not cooking anything till we're properly attired. Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene."

The cookery is, of course, a mere pretext for some engagingly stupid clowning. Professing to be fed-up with lugging potatoes around in conventional carrier-bags, Franklin proposes an alternative method of transport - stick them on the point of an umbrella: "I'm using a blue umbrella here," he explains. "That's just a purely personal thing - any colour will do."

Jimeoin goes on to discuss how cutting onions makes your eyes water. "There are a few other vegetables that can make you cry," he muses. "Getting hit in the nuts by a turnip - that'll do it every time."

They then outline how to prepare a classic dish for post-pub drunks called "Cheesecake Denial" - essential for when you come home from a session with a bad case of the munchies to discover all that's in the fridge is your flatmate's cheesecake. "We simply add to that stealth and deceit," Franklin reveals. "Just eat the whole thing and deny that it ever existed."

The show progresses to greater heights of lunacy with a routine in which a member of the audience is blindfolded with two Jam Fancies and asked to Name That Biscuit.

I can think of no greater compliment than to say that a lot of this stuff wouldn't look out of place on Shooting Stars.

People might say - with some justification - that TV chefs are an easy target. But Jimeoin & Bob's Cooking Show takes aim at them with such relish that it scarcely seems to matter.

It makes for a riotous hour. Probably the most fun anyone has ever had behind a naff white formica breakfast-bar.

Cochrane Theatre, London, WC2 (0171-242 7040) to 4 Oct

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