Two years ago, Dara O’Briain released his first stand-up DVD, and blew everything else out at the same time clean out of the water. Even on repeated viewings, it was a gut-bustingly funny way to spend an hour and a half. And it no doubt pissed Gillian McKeith off in the bargain. That’s not a bad way for anyone to spend an evening.
His new DVD, filmed earlier this year as part of his national tour, fortunately keeps the standards just as high. And while McKeith this time is nowhere to be found, O’Briain nonetheless has plenty of other targets in his sights. Across the hour and a half running time, he aims his ire at the likes of homeopathy, hotel turn-up teams and high-tech pregnancy tests. Then there are the killer tales, none of which come finer than his telling of the story of playing to an audience who had been drinking for 13 hours in the aftermatch of England winning the Rugby World Cup. His tale of the magician who followed him afterwards is painfully, painfully funny, and masterfully delivered.
O’Briain also spends a good chunk of time interacting with his audience, and it’s good to see so much of that made the disc. We caught him on tour earlier this year and found this part of his act to be simply golden, and again, he digs up some quality material here. The electrician who doesn’t know about electrics would be our favourite. And given that the leg-pulling is done in such a friendly and warm way, you never feel like O’Briain is laughing at his audience, instead always making sure he involves them in the fun.
It’s an excellent gig once more, and that alone would all but justify the asking price for the DVD. But the extra features, while there are only three of them, easily tip it into must buy territory.
Those who saw his last DVD may remember that he joined forces with Ed Byrne to watch the gig back, in a sort-of commentary tied to a drinking game. It ran for half an hour, and basically involved the two commenting on the gig, while drinking copious amounts of booze. This time, David Mitchell sits side-by-side with O’Briain, and seems to remain stone-cold sober, in spite of putting away a fair amount of drink. It’s a great extra feature, once more, and worth a spin.
The Littlest Extra, meanwhile, is a small snippet of a gig, introduced by O’Briain, where he leads into the interval by ripping the piss out of homeopathy a bit more.
And then there’s the utter gold, here, namely the inclusion of a second gig. He often talks in his work about the difference between Irish and British crowds, and here – as he talks about in the opening to the gig – is nearly an hour of him at the Vicar Street Theatre in Dublin. It’s a brilliant extra, with a good chunk of different material, and a slightly different feel to it that pretty much proves the man’s point.
In short, the new DVD features a strong main gig, and strong extra features. Here’s hoping we can all meet up again in a year or two’s time for more of the same…
The Disc:The Extras: Read our interview with Dara here.