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HomeUKGuz Khan on the Harold Pinter Theatre assessment: a formidable entertainer

Guz Khan on the Harold Pinter Theatre assessment: a formidable entertainer


t the beginning of his set Guz Khan puzzled aloud what he was doing performing on the Harold Pinter Theatre. A white man should have organised this, he joked. So how did the ex-teacher from Coventry get right here? The reply is easy. The star of hit BBC comedy Man Like Mobeen is a charismatic comic and formidable entertainer.

Even when his materials is just a little too broad or dated – there are some early observations about Rishi Sunak which counsel that he has not been following the information just lately – he has such a persuasive persona that the punchlines nonetheless really feel recent. He’d in all probability be nice in gross sales. Or, come to that, a fantastic politician.

His fashion is accessible and relatable slightly than innovative. The one time he comes near referring to current Muslim/Hindu tensions in Leicester is chatting about his childhood when there have been squabbles between the religions – Khan is Muslim – over the Woolworth’s decide ‘n’ combine.

After a couple of unprintable asides about Prince Andrew taking care of his late mom’s corgis and an anecdote about succumbing to Covid and seeing all the things in Smurf blue simply as he thought he was immune – “I used to be vexed bro” – it was when he talked about his schooldays that his set actually hit a candy spot.

Khan painted an image of the annual go to to Coventry Cathedral that was so vivid you would odor the bus fumes. That is the sort of routine that the younger Billy Connolly might need delivered if he had had South Asian roots and had grown up within the Midlands within the Nineteen Nineties. Filled with element, each digression prompting one other snort.

Elsewhere he paid tribute to his “gangster” mom, who introduced him up after his father died when Khan was three. He devoted the present to her, saying that each one he wished in life was her acceptance. A gag about his mum being unimpressed by one in every of his tv appearances means that she is a extraordinarily laborious girl to please.

There can be additional alternatives for mum to be unimpressed by her son onscreen quickly. There may be extra Man Like Mobeen within the pipeline and different tasks embody Digman, a comedy set within the archaeology world, and the romcom How To Date Billy Walsh co-starring Nick Frost.

It seems prefer it may be more and more laborious for Khan to slot in extra stand-up within the close to future. Which might be a disgrace. His mom as soon as informed him that he was a “mistake”. It might need been mentioned in jest however perhaps it drove him on. As a stand-up Khan could be very a lot a star. Make no mistake.

Harold Pinter Theatre, tonight;

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