Review of Nish Kumar at The Piccadilly London Comedy Club
With his combination of educated cleverness, righteous passion and sardonic wit, Nish Kumar is the Asian answer to Hal Cruttenden.
Fiercely intelligent, he is the voice of liberal common sense, calling to account stupid thinking wherever he may encounter it – even within his own unreliable mind. But he never strays far from his good friend Mr Killer-Punchline.
He relays how he has previously been criticised for using his comedy to express how angry he is with white people. But he has the perfect answer for that: he isn’t.
Stereotypical ‘ethnic humour’ is also firmly off the agenda for artistic reasons. Instead he is the unlikely voice of reason, countering everyday racism with a winning mix of wide-eyed incredulity and biting sarcasm.
Not just this, either, the same witty insight is applied to everything from brutal internet discourse to his own hypocrisy. He saw himself as optimistic, selfless and ego-free… Until he started a relationship and his girlfriend hold him he is in fact, an introverted, over-analytical pessimist. In reality, he’s somewhere in between: positive about the world in general but when something fails that ideal, he forensically picks the irritant apart.
Nish Kumar is playful and self-effacing. A man with all the answers for society but blind to his own failings. This element adds charm to a sharp commentary that doesn’t scrimp on punchlines.
He also has the best dieting gag ever, destroying the 5:2 diet with a withering put down that will send anyone running for a packet of crisps. Right now, Nish Kumar is in another league to most comedians, and it is only a matter if when, not if, stardom finds him.