herald

Wednesday 16 January 2019

BISHOP'S NEW-FOUND TALENT IS A WINNER

DES BISHOP

"Made in China". Well, yes, that might actually happen. Did you know that Des Bishop moved to the Far East last year? Of course you did. He made a documentary about it. Because that's what Des Bishop, our favourite Irish-American comic, does for a living. He makes us feel bad about our own lives by improving his own…I jest. In all seriousness, Bishop is in danger. For two reasons.

Here, he has crafted the finest 90 minutes of his stand-up career. He has, in fact, turned a glorified holiday into a cracking power-point presentation. With better jokes. Yep, he may well have peaked with this one. And then there's the attitude problem.

You wanna heckle Bishop? Go on, then. Dude will put you in your place, and not in a nice way. It's a tad scary. He takes a swipe at a major Irish broadcaster and suggests that the only reason people dislike said broadcaster is because they are easy to hate. Sort of ironic, don't you think? There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and if Bishop (a performer who almost always divides opinion with every project) continues to pat himself on the back and lose his temper over the little things, he might yet see fewer faces at his gigs.

I don't want it to happen. Why? It's simple, really. Bishop is in a league of his own - it'd be a shame to lose him. Suited and booted, the 38-year-old funny man's holiday stories form a truly great companion piece to the recently aired Breaking China series. It even comes with a House of Pain song. In Chinese.

Hoot

A boisterous storyteller, the bloke would be doing well to keep things shorter (he's useless with time management this evening) but hey, the Des Bishop Multi-media Experience is still a hoot.

He teaches us the four vocal tones of his new favourite language. His adopted Chinese name, he tells us, means something else entirely if you pronounce it wrong (clue: it's rude). He shows us clips of the time he went on the Chinese Take Me Out. He bemoans the fact that hairdressers there had no idea what to do with his barnet. He also makes a new friend in the audience.

Bishop's goal, it would appear, was to move to another country, learn the language and get a tour and TV show out of it. With just 17 months of studying under his belt, here he is, interrupting his set to hold a conversation with a Chinese punter. Job well done.

He jokes about how his reason to continue living in China is more to do with the country recently discovering stand-up comedy. A fifth of the planet, says Des, and only 30 of them tell jokes? He's in there. But you know he's only gone and fallen in love with his new home from home. Yep, we've lost Des Bishop. Damn. We didn't think it would happen this way.

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