Having been lucky enough to attend the actual live recording of this Netflix special at the Hammersmith Apollo last year, I thought I would take it upon myself to see if the Taskmaster’s stand up is as good on a streaming service. It definitely is.
I’ve been a massive fan of Greg Davies since his first stand up, Throwing Cheese Balls at a Dog and have followed his work ever since, from the PG humour of Cuckoo, the absurdity of Taskmaster to the insanity of Man Down, Greg Davies has proven to be one of my favourite comedians of recent years. His comic timing is flawless, as is his ability to not take himself seriously. He isn’t telling a joke and waiting for an audience reaction, he joins in, often laughing along with us at the absurdity of the situations he gets himself into. Such as his mother calling a detergent company because his ill father could no longer fit his penis into the opening to urinate inside. Or, when he went for years thinking he had made his father proud by learning a traditional Welsh song, when really the song his father had taught him actually translated to lude sexual acts on farm animals.
His comic timing is flawless, as is his ability to not take himself seriously
Most of the humour comes from the incredibly strange actions of his family. However, this time, Greg had to mostly focus on his mother’s actions because as he tells us at the beginning of the show his father “very rudely died” a few years ago. This death provides a backdrop of relatability in Davies’ stand-up as he talks about what an inspiration his father was to him. Even on his death bed his father was laughing at the ridiculously absurd situation his doctor was struggling with: His six-year-old son weighed ten stone and would cook a whole chicken for himself every night. It’s this kind of insane scenario that makes Greg Davies laugh out loud funny, his ability to recognise that his life is a series of ridiculous events but that he’d have it no other way. And this stand up is no different, the Netflix special is just as funny as when it was live.