Laurence Clark – 12% Evil (FringeTIX)
Laurence Clark @ Fowler’s Live
9:30pm, Sat 8 Mar 2008
It’d be easy to argue that Laurence Clark is a one-trick pony, relying on his cerebral palsy to garner a sympathetic response to a sub-standard comedy routine; but, luckily for the audience, that’s not actually the case. Yes, Clark’s palsy does make it difficult to initially understand him – but after a few minutes, just like a strong accent, you’ve adjusted to his speech patterns and can freely absorb his comedy.
And he’s definitely got a good eye for comedy. Sure, it’s easy for him to poke fun at the disabled – and, in fact, the best parts of his act leverage that. The first big laugh comes when he plays video of his bungee jumping escapades: “go on, admit it – you just loved seeing a spastic get pushed off a bridge.” Highlighting the preconceptions of people by begging for mortgage payments and puppy killing was also good value.
Clark’s PowerPoint skills are great, his video support quality. He’s obviously aware of his limitations and works well within them (though I have to admit that his air-quotes cracked me up… that’s probably not very PC). Clearly his act is heavily affected by other “cripples” – he seems to hate Heather Mills-McCartney with a passion – and he rounds out his act by showing a bunch of personal ads from Disability Now magazine. But he does well to dispel a few myths, and is genuinely funny – though the laughs-per-minute are down from other motor-mouthed comedians, he still delivers a quality experience. Bravo, sir.