How one man can muster up so much rage at what at first appears to be the most trivial of things is a mystery. Yet Rhod Gilbert has turned it into an art form, something millions of visitors to YouTube have discovered, turning his luggage carousel routine into one of the most viewed comedy rants on the planet.
Gilbert’s star has been rising, helped in no small way by a superb set on Live At The Apollo, as well as his appearances on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Michael McIntryre’s Comedy Roadshow, amongst other projects. But it’s the fact that he’s one of the very funniest stand-ups currently on the road that makes this gig soar.
While inevitably losing some of the edges you get from seeing him live – I was treated to one of Gilbert’s already-legendary encores earlier this year when I caught his new show – there’s nonetheless a hell of a lot to enjoy with his Award Winning Mince Pie DVD. The title is relevant to the show, too, as Gilbert spends much time simply ranting and raving about the contents of a motorway service station (including the mince pie itself).
Only there’s ranting, and there’s the kind of volcanic tirade that Gilbert manages to generate. It’s both fascinating and gut-bustingly funny to watch, as he gets himself wound up over things as trivial as duvet buying and the infamous torch with the power of a million candles. His delivery is outstanding, and there’s nobody quite like him on the circuit right now doing this kind of thing this well.
Ironically though, it’s the quieter moment that we found the highlight of the disc. It’s something as simple as him sitting on some steps, and reading the reply to a letter he sent to the aforementioned service station. It’s tears-in-your-eyes funny.
The disc is hampered slightly by covering some material that fans of Gilbert may have seen elsewhere across his numerous television appearances, but there’s enough fresh stuff in here to more than justify the cost of the DVD. The man thoroughly deserves the many plaudits being thrust in his direction.
The disc itself has a couple of extras on it. There’s a sequence with Gilbert visiting Llanbobl, which is good fun and runs to nearly 20 minutes. Then, in the extras, is the infamous and brilliant luggage return, as Gilbert returns to the stage for an encore proclaiming “it’s the DVD extras”! Then there are some further outtakes, too.
All of these are accessible via a spinning mince pie from the main menu, which is surely one of the most elaborate menu systems that a stand-up comedian has felt the benefit of.
In short, though, it’s the terrific main feature that sells the disc. And even though it only captures some of what makes Gilbert such an excellent stand-up performer, it’s a strong gig that comes across well on DVD.
The Feature The Extras
Rhod Gilbert And The Award-Winning Mince Pie is out now.