Danny Bhoy: Subject To Change DVD review

Stand-up comedian Danny Bhoy makes his DVD debut with Subject To Change. Here’s Glen’s review…

Danny Bhoy was recently featured on the BBC’s showcase of comedy talent from the Edinburgh festival, so to many he will be seen as a new face and an upcoming talent. However, Bhoy has been active on the comedy circuit since the late 90s and has had several successful shows at Edinburgh and Montreal comedy festivals as well as TV appearances in Australia and America to his name, including an appearance on Letterman earlier this year. So, it’s safe to say that Bhoy has found a considerable level of success already and his star looks to rise further in the not too distant future.

This is his debut DVD, but a lot of the material also featured on his Live In Montreal album, released in 2008. Much of that material has been expanded here and being able to see Bhoy perform very much helps the material, as, at times, he’s quite a physical comedian.

Returning to the city where he recorded his live album for a Comedy Central special, Bhoy does his best to play up to his Scottish heritage by appearing to be playing the bagpipes in the intro. When the lights go up, it’s revealed that he’s merely holding an upturned barstool. This acts as an excellent ice breaker as he can address his heritage within the opening minutes of the show.

He returns to his nationality a number of times throughout the set, drawing parallels between his culture and his experiences with other cultures around the world. This material, and when he focuses on observational comedy topics like hotel room woes and the financial crisis, are when he’s at his strongest. However, there are some less positive aspects of the set as a whole.

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At an hour and twenty minutes the show could have easily been stronger, had some of the fat been trimmed off it. There are times where Bhoy stretches the material to, and often goes beyond, breaking point as he practically mugs the audience for laughs. This happens a little too often throughout the set and really affects the flow of the material.

Extended segues into sequences of impressions based solely on tired cultural stereotypes were tedious for me, to say the least. Unfortunately, this occurred far too often, making this DVD very much a one timer for me, which is a shame because there really is some excellent material when he doesn’t resort to the aforementioned tactics.

It’s often the case that you’ve got an intriguing setup delivered with skill and charm and then he appears to get a glint in his eye and goes off on a tangent, with tenuous links to the setup, before returning to the punchline some minutes later. Ultimately, he’s far, far, funnier when he sticks to his native voice.

Still, the audience lapped up the material and seemed appreciative of his comedy stylings, so he’s obviously doing something right. I can easily see him doing well on the various comedy shows that showcase comedic talent in the UK and becoming a household name in the process. His material is well suited to short form comedy and he was impressive on the BBC show mentioned at the top of the review.

The fact that he’s not overly profane and that the bulk of material isn’t too risqué will, no doubt, make him an attractive prospect for those booking such shows.

The DVD is worth a look. I’m certainly glad I saw it and will look out for future appearances of his, but there were parts of the material that just didn’t work for me. Had it not been for the impressions, this would have been one that I would have enjoyed a lot more than I did. As it stands, though, it was something of an uneven watch.

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There were no extras on the review copy I received, but the retail release will include A Visitors Guide to Scotland and A Guide to American Sports features, which sound quite intriguing, particularly the latter for me, as I’m quite a fan of  American sports.

Danny Bhoy: Subject To Change will be will be released on November 8th can be pre-ordered from the Den Of Geek Store.


3 out of 5