Fred MacAulay and John Moloney (rating 4/5)
With a Scottish and an English comedian pairing up in front of a largely domestic audience one might have expected a few cross-border wisecracks. Neither chose that option, nor did they perform as a double act, each preferring their own routines and denying us the prospect of some improvisation from two veterans of the circuit who have been friends for 30 years. Instead they each did a half hour stint, teaming up only at the end to thank us all for coming.
Moloney was gracious in praising his sidekick’s contribution to comedy, though the Londoner edged the night’s performances with his slick one-liners, drawing on his time as a teacher, and barmy stories about his cat Edward which will be familiar to those who’ve heard his late night show on Radio Four.
His quick-fire delivery is in the old, keep ’em laughing style of Dodd, Carson and Dawson which works a treat in a small, intimate establishment.
MacAulay can do this too, as evidenced by his observational wit on the corporate circuit, though here he chose to ramble on about his childhood holidays, complete with old jokes about woolly swimming trunks, and life with his dogs, all of which sadly mutated into punchlines around male bodily parts.
We’ve put sexism, racism and a lot of other poor excuses for comedy to bed, and surely its time the door was closed and the lights turned off on lavatorial jokes that are more playground than adult humour.
To that extent Moloney steals the show and is worth the entrance fee alone. Fred must have reams of material that he could draw upon to keep pace with his pal.
Fred MacAulay and John Moloney, The Stand Comedy Club, York Place, until 27 August