Last year’s show, More of Me, was my first introduction to Amos, and I found it honest and interesting, as well as being well performed, slick, etc. This year, the show is just about finding the things to laugh about in everyday life, and there are a number of gags that are exactly the same as the last show (eg. waiting for Lenny Henry to die -> the BBC’s “one in, one out” diversity policy). Unfortunately, this year Amos comes across as rather more abrasive and arrogant; his way of dealing with heckling is pretty heavy-handed, even extending it to people who haven’t actually heckled, just shouted out something a bit silly when invited to respond to some question or other. This, combined with the fact that the show doesn’t have the honest, confessional feel that last year’s show did, and the slightly self-congratulatory gimmick of getting a member of the audience to count the laughs, left me feeling somewhat less well disposed to Amos than I did last year. It all seemed a bit smug.
Nevertheless, there is no denying that Stephen K Amos is a very good stand-up, assured and funny. The show this year may have been treading water (come on, “Find the Funny”? What kind of a title is that? It tells you no more about the content of the show than the fact that it’s listed in the Comedy section of the Fringe brochure), but you never feel like you’ve wasted your money. So… yeah.