Michael McIntyre Is Faker Than A £5 Rolex
MICHAEL McIntyre has millions of fans. I’m just not friends with or related to any of them. I don’t think I’ve ever met one. Michael McIntyre is the Tony Blair of standup – charismatic enough to get millions of people to back him but embarrassing enough that they’ll all deny it. I don’t dislike McIntyre because he’s mainstream. There are loads of comics who walked the middle of the road who were wonderful. There’s nothing wrong with acts that can play to massive BBC One audiences. Look at Billy Connolly or Jasper Carrot in their prime, Dave Allen at his most palatable or even Bob Monkhouse, for all his joke lifting tendencies.
The problem with McIntyre is that he’s faker than a five quid Rolex. There’s nothing genuine about his schtick. His are the studied routine of an estate agent who, having decided that shifting suburban semis isn’t for him, turns his pseudo-chumminess to the art of gags. He has David Brent’s laugh and the worst mugging habit since Morph was melted down to make fresh plasticine. His every move stinks of sweat and desperation, as if he were simply a competition winner who has gotten lucky and not a gimlet-eyed professional with a ruthless management team backing him up.
Despite it all, I was planning to be contrarian and write a spirited defence of Michael McIntyre’s chat show but I realise the attendant stigma would force me to retreat to the wilderness and live as a shame-ridden hermit for the rest of my days. The hits would just not have been worth it. The Michael McIntyre Chat Show – yes, that’s as creative as they could get with the title – is a car crash, a programme so lacking in charisma I began to resent my television for spitting its mediocre antics in my face. If it hadn’t have bucked up its ideas and shown me the penultimate episode of Line of Duty later in the week, I’d have put my boot through it like that rage-filled lorry driver confronted by the Sex Pistols.
Throughout the first edition of the chat show it seemed McIntyre was far more interested in himself than his guests. The amount of actual chat was dispiritingly short. Lilly Allen spent her time on the sofa looking desperately uncomfortable and even the twinkling charm of Sir Terry Wogan could not inject some life into the enterprise. Most of the show was dedicated to McIntyre’s dreadful ‘banter’ with audience members and the sound of his laugh which could be used to torture terrorists. But, masochist that I am, I persisted.
In the second episode, McIntyre was reduced to terrible accents and doing silly walks with Sir David Jason. The pattern for guest bookings was replicated too – old fellas and young women – highlighting both McIntyre’s lack of gravitas and bemused-dad-picking-up-kids-from-the-Year-10 disco squareness. Despite being just 38-years-old, the host acts as if all of modern life is confusing to him. The lowest form of wit isn’t sarcasm, it’s Michael McIntyre.