Playing to a much bigger room than Tim Vine Live, in So I Said to This Bloke, Tim Vine acts more like a magician than a comedian. His confidence (and cheeky looks into the camera) sells his performance of puns, musical numbers, and props. He can even get away with casually telling the audience when to applaud, the way a magician or similar showman might. This heavily propped comedy show is not the sort you are used to.
Do you know what slugs call snails? Gypsies!
Tim Vine is unlike any comedian you will see reviewed on this blog, not just because he’s one of the few all-ages comics but because he’s the only one where you can watch his DVD, go to bed reflecting on all you’ve seen, and think Flag…Hippo…? His hour-long performance in So I Said to This Bloke is absolutely bonkers. It includes not only the rapid-fire one-liners Vine is famous for but also some of his better long-form gags like Pen Behind the Ear (and its sequel Hockey Stick Behind the Ear), Flag Hippo (which relies on the adorableness of a hippo costume), and my favorite song My Marvelous Metronome. Vine is an exceptionally talented musical comedian, able to carry a tune beautifully and play the piano so well he can effectively falsify playing poorly. In addition to the groaners that pepper the show, there are some really brilliant ideas, like “actual size” stickers that you can go around town sticking to advertisements of giant hamburgers; or Poppadom Jigsaw; or even just the idea that “He’s on his last legs” is a dumb saying because we’re all on our last legs. The show concludes on Vine’s own version of the Footprints poem.
Months turned to days turned to years…in a different order. I’m keeping that in. Which is what I said last night.
Like Tim Vine Live, the DVD (region 2/PAL) is jam packed with misc. footage of varying quality. Although it’s produced by a proper DVD publisher, the special features section has the feel of Tim Vine just unloading his camcorder into the extra space available, including a long series of Vine trying to play every sport imaginable, a music video about a juke box, a bonus short clip of Flag Hippo frolicking in the fields, behind-the-scenes of Cinderella pantomime, a Q&A that proves Vine is a paranamasiac (pun-obsessive), and various deleted scenes (though you won’t find them under “deleted scenes”). Like with Tim Vine Live, these glances into the daily life of Tim Vine give you a sense of what he’s really like, bubble machine and all.
If you’re a fan of dirty jokes, don’t let Vine’s cleanliness turn you off. As much as I like high brow, intellectual standup, Vine is still one of my favorite performers. You can buy the DVD for just a few dollars on Amazon. Make sure you have a region free DVD player or can set your player to region zero.