Josh Howie: I Am A Dick

Gay jokes, lesbian jokes, jokes about blacks, about Jews, and about black Jews

By Lee Levitt, August 11, 2011
Josh Howie

Josh Howie

In his previous two highly successful Edinburgh shows, Josh Howie focused on his time training to be a rabbi in Jerusalem (he was ejected from the programme after being caught with a naked non-Jewish girl), and his four-year sojourn with his grandma in Arnos Grove. This year, he fancied trying something less constrained by a fixed narrative, a bit more freeform.

"Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, I am a dick," the son of the PR guru Lynne Franks announces, bursting on stage holding half a pint of lager.

His rapid-fire, angst-ridden material does very much what it says on the tin, so for the next hour there are dick jokes aplenty, and a comic probing of surrounding passages as Howie jousts with the English language and pushes boundaries for the desired crack.

There are also gay jokes, lesbian jokes, jokes about blacks, about Jews, and about black Jews - all self-consciously politically incorrect - with the latter, for good measure, self-referential, as the 35-year-old Buddhist-raised Westminster Synagogue member once embraced rap culture to boost his street cred (he has now taken to dropping his "t"s instead).

So far, so postmodern ironic. And that's without mentioning the extended poo-joke riff involving his child therapist wife, Monique, their baby son, Mordechai, and Howie's (failed) photographic ambitions, which sent Howie's audience ratings on his dickometer soaring.

Unfortunately, however, the Crouch End comedian's joshing with the not particularly-up-for-it bunch didn't always hit the comic sweet point, and chunks of the multi-layered, but lurid, material failed to inflate into full-blown laughs.

Maybe it was too experimental, or maybe, rather than a dickometer it needed more of a narrative thread.

Though having said that, how about this for a taste of Howie's originality: "Hitler didn't eat meat.

"Does that make him any less evil, because he was a veggie Aryan?"

The Stand Comedy Club, until Aug 28, not Aug 15

Last updated: 9:29am, August 11 2011