Andrew O’Neill: Occult Comedian Review


Andrew O’Neill isn’t your average comedian. For a start he is dressed as a woman – albeit an unconvincing one. However we soon learn that this is his intention because apparently,  he is “ridiculously heterosexual”. O’Neill’s contentious and bemusing start sets up an evening of rather different and at times commendable comedy which he admits doesn’t make any sense but should be left to wash over, like jazz.

His material seems to favour the spontaneous use of the non-sequitur with subjects focusing on his lengthy love of metal music and occultism dropped alongside various absurd ditties and poems. Although these are rather obscure topics to base a one hour 30 minute show on, he does well to hold it together without losing his audience with too many abstruse references.

A general misanthropy is conveyed in his attack against organised religion and in particular Christianity, which though funny in parts does come across as overly abusive when not backed by witty jokes or aphorisms. There is a definite feel that O’Neill is a comedian who craves a little too much attention, an attribute which is all too greatly reflected in his style. He appears to make a self-conscious effort to appear outlandish and challenge the audience’s perception of normal whilst invoking curious existential ideas on the nature of the mind which seem bizarrely placed at a comedy gig.

O’Neill’s show is definitely one that will stick in the memory, but perhaps not for the right reasons. The surreality of the subject matter and the method at which it is delivered makes the appeal of the show limited to a select audience whilst the remainder are left only partially satisfied.

Taken from The Journal, published Wed Jan 26th 2011.

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