Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Review: Self-deprecating Aussie Adam Hills has us all laughing our legs off at his antics

Adam Hills at the Ulster Hall

Australian stand up comedian and presenter of The Last Leg, Adam Hills
Australian stand up comedian and presenter of The Last Leg, Adam Hills

"We're polite, but we want blood," is how Adam Hills described his Belfast audience.

All day they had been tweeting their excitement about seeing him, and last night they were roaring, encouraging him to ask the embarrassed couples near the front when was the last time they got it on.

He dedicated the start of his show to the audience, at least half-an-hour of it, and for a while it looked like this might be it – all chat, no planned punchlines.

Hills, most aptly described as "the Aussie bloke with one leg", was a surprise hit of the 2012 Paralympics.

His Channel 4 show The Last Leg told us that it's OK to talk and joke about disability, and he carried on making people laugh with constant references to his prosthetic (he told of how he recently found out one of his ancestors was a pirate, and it took him two hours to get the joke).

And maybe it is the fact that he was born without his right foot, or maybe it's just all that sunshine down under, but his entire persona was unusually upbeat for a comedian in 2013.

In a world of Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr, being mean is in vogue, but Hills can't stop grinning when he's on stage.

He carefully wove gags about the Northern Irish around what was a script written for a global tour, poking fun at every nation in a way that's sardonic but has good-natured intent and charm.

And he had the whole hall in ruptures.

Even the cheesiest, most terribly out of tune musical finale couldn't stop the crowd laughing.

Claire Cromie

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