Live At The Apollo’s good form continues as the show hits its third week, and this time round it’s a bit of an Eight Out Of Ten Cats special. For fans of the panel game, it’s the chance to see the two competing captains doing their stand-up work, while even if you’ve never seen the show, the pairing of Sean Lock and Jason Manford wrings plenty of laughs out of three quarters of an hour.
Lock is the host this time round, and he gets around a quarter of an hour of his own material before he brings Manford on. One or two parts are also to be found on his new stand-up DVD (review here), but Lock is a genuine master of his art. His set covers the likes of novelty names of toilets in pubs, how the stretch limo has lost its luxury status and the naming of hurricanes. And, as always with Lock, his considered delivery works really well. His conversational style fits the Apollo show well, and we’d have happily enjoyed a show devoted to him.
Jason Manford has been building up his reputation over the past year or two, and his performance here will do him no harm at all. Our favourite story of his set is his discussion of watching transfer deadline day as a Manchester City fan, tying it in to a routine about how men are able to multi-task after all. The other highlight for us is the automated booking lines for cinemas. Genius.
He also spends time discussing the driving test, and the joy of multi-storey car parks. It, granted, may not appear to be the edgiest material, but it matters not a jot. In Manford’s hands, he wrings an abundance of laughs, and again, the delivery here is really, really good.
The combination of the pair makes for a strong programme once more, and it’s a fine way to spend a Friday night. We have, though, caught up on episode one of the show now (cheers, BBC iPlayer), and right now, the one everyone has to beat this series is Rhod Gilbert. His monologue on buying a duvet is one of the funniest things we’ve seen on TV all year (excluding Brian Blessed on Have I Got News For You, natch).
More Apollo next week. And you know? We really can’t wait…
This episode of Live At The Apollo is on BBC One on Friday 12th December, at 10.35pm. Read our round up of last week’s here.
Check out our interview with Sean Lock here.