Big Howard Little Howard: Man and Boy

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Big Howard Little Howard
Published 11 Aug 2017

If you don't like a well-worked fart gag, then this isn't the show for you. There are other issues for you, too, but the main point here is that Howard Read (Big Howard) and his cartoon companion (Little Howard) have constructed an excellent and lengthy fart joke, which sets the tone for a fun and polished hour of technical wizardry and good-natured gags. And some farts.

The setup is as follows: Big Howard is a real man (genuinely, he's quite big and 100 per cent real). Little Howard is not. He's an eternal six-year-old, a figment of Big Howard's imagination brought to life via a projected animation with whom BH interacts, bickers, fights and by whom he is consistently undermined. It's a double act in all but the fact that only one of the parties is alive. And it's a lovely dynamic. BH is bumbling, well intentioned, apologetic. LH is an assured idiot, consistently tactless without a second thought. Given the technical constraints, LH has to have 'lines', and the contrast with BH's halting, more unsteady delivery is good fun. There's a not-entirely-wholehearted attempt to inject some weightier themes in here – politics and diversity for instance. But one suspects these are just handy hooks to hang the silliness on.

This is the first adult show the experienced kids entertainer has put together involving Little Howard in years, and he hasn't attempted to change his modus operandi for the sake of some stupid adults. Read is strongest when he is silliest. And this show is delightfully silly.