Rhys James – Wiseboy

Last time I saw Rhys James I said I was sure he’d get better, and I thought he was great last time I saw him. It’s wonderful to be able to say I was right about him, and not just because everyone likes being right. He’s the same automatic joke machine as last year, firing out line after line of hilarious stories and musings.

James understands how to make people laugh innately, it’s not just in the gags themselves. Every word he speaks is carefully engineered to be funny in each syllable. He’s not necessarily an easy comedian to like if you’re on the wrong side of thirty, given how sleekly modern he is. Ok, maybe forty, what do I know? James is so obviously a product of the internet age and a lot of his humour will stick especially with the Twitter crowd. He’s a delightfully ironic speaker, toying with language to ensure every moment has potential for laughs.

Wiseboy isn’t perfect, while James is remarkably confident and hilariously flippant with his crowd, he sometimes gets bogged down speaking with them and throws himself off. Sometimes, when he’s taking his time too much you start to feel that familiar, creeping stand-up show worry, that the next thing he’s going to say won’t be funny and it’ll be horribly awkward, but he never disappoints. He’s at his best when he builds up momentum, and there’s so many riffs and rants that induce this wonderful domino effect from one laugh to the next.

I tried my best to avoid repeating myself here, but it’s not like you read the last review is it. Wiseboy is a young comedian going from great to better, and Rhys James remains one to watch, because he’s better than half the comics with twice the experience.

★★★★ and a half

Keiran Burnett