JODY KAMALI: ONE MAN VARIETY SHOW
“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you a spectacularly ridiculous variety show featuring a plethora of acts to feast your eyes…all performed by one man from Bristol. An irresistible hour of character comedy, clowning and ludicrous slapstick is guaranteed in this modern take on the variety and vaudeville scene.”
I wasn’t sure what to expect. A group of four guys going to watch what I was told was a “comedy thing” at Duffy’s Bar in Leicester. As part of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, Jody Kamali from Bristol puts on what he has called a ‘One Man Variety Show’, which I guess says it all.
Except it doesn’t. Sure, it has variety. It’s one man. And it’s a show. But I don’t feel like the name captures the extremely surreal hour that Kamali puts on for his audience. Firstly, he introduces his show as the well-dressed host, with a funny accent. Next, he introduces his second character, the man of mystery who, after a quick costume change, began throwing Sainsbury’s bags around the stage, parodying that of David Copperfield.
This sort of unique and niche comedy doesn’t usually do anything for me. Kamali has said in an interview with Bristol 24-7 that he considers the “foolery and character comedy of Sacha Baron Cohen, Harry Enfield, The Fast Show and League of Gentlemen” as influences. Again, I’m not a fan. I don’t want to say that this form of comedy isn’t clever, it just isn’t doesn’t show itself as clever on the surface; making fun of yourself is one thing but the level of putting yourself out to what I consider as moderately embarrassing yourself is another thing entirely; and that is literally what Kamali does with his characters. I usually just find it awkward and uncomfortable watching someone make a fool of themselves in front of 14 people, and The One Man Variety show was no different. And yet, I was laughing quite honestly points of his performance. His audience interaction kept it fresh and interesting throughout the hour and did it well with only 14 people (majority of which were students, a scary bunch as it is) spectating.
Over the hour, his other characters included a Vampire, a ten pound note (no seriously), and a healer who… used the powers of his… erm nipples to ‘heal’ members of the crowd.
What I didn’t know until writing this article however was that Jody Kamali has more characters than just those be performed. For many years, he has been forming a YouTube following under Terry the Odd Job Man. His recent ventures have been exploring the ‘Bristolian’ language and releasing DVD’s.
The link to the show is below: