I've decided; Bill Bailey is officially my joint favourite living British comedian (with Eddie Izzard). I've enjoyed him a lot as an actor in 'Spaced' (as Bilbo, the comic book shop owner), and of course as the cheerfully opressed Manny in 'Black Books', but I've just seen some of his 'Part Troll' tour on TV, and I'm still giggling.
Trying to explain what makes someone funny is a sure way to kill any humour, but I must just give a few examples of some of the many things that cracked me up in the show^1^.
- He wondered why the pages of the catalogues in Argos are laminated, and came to the conclusion that it was to stop the tears of joy from making the pages wrinkly. [In a voice a little like Gollum, and turning the pages reverently] "So many beautiful things, but I cannot possess them all..."
- He related talking to a Buddhist in Indonesia. The man asked him what Britain was like: "It's OK I suppose. [Brightening a little] We've got Nectar Points [mimes showing the Nectar card]."
- He performed the Hokey Cokey as Kraftwerk. This was absolute genius — imagine the Hokey Cokey in expressionless German, complete with Kraftwerk robotic actions.
Of course, it might all be in the way he tells them.
^1^ A warning to non-UK readers — the first two points listed contain some highly culturally-specific material. You probably won't find them funny, but trust me, they are.