Romesh Ranganathan is a comedian whose tongue is placed so firmly in cheek that it threatens to come out the other side. This English comedian of Sri Lankan descent performed his debut Sydney comedy show to audiences who may be familiar with his work thanks to TV spots on Live At The Apollo and Would I Lie To You?, plus his starring role in the television series, Asian Provocateur.

In Irrational, Ranganathan delivered an hour of tight and polished stand-up where he approached a range of different topics in such a different and oblique way that it really made you laugh and think. He joked about agreeing with the UK’s equivalent to our own One Nation, as well as extolling the benefits of joining ISIS. It was a head spin to put it lightly.

In some ways Ranganathan’s humour is similar to Dylan Moran’s, in that he can slip into the character of cranky curmudgeon quite well and performs jokes that are equally personal, observational and political. In doing so, Ranganathan gives you the sense that he’ll make the perfect grumpy old man in years to come.

In the space of 60 minutes, Ranganathan had us laughing at his “three-day angry walk” through Disneyland Paris, his belief that Gogglebox is one step up from looking in a mirror, and that one time he was so horrified by his reflection in the morning that he self-deprecatingly called himself “a chocolate pudding abomination” and apologised to his wife, who subsequently accepted.

Romesh – whose first name is actually Jonathan – is charming and makes his anecdotes, stories and asides seem so effortless, especially when he delivers them in such a comfortable, deadpan style and then adds the cheekiest of grins to top it all off. While some people may say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, in the capable hands of Ranganathan, it can prove to be so much more.


Originally published on 27 April 2017 at the following website:

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