James Adomian: Lacking in Character

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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James Adomian
Published 12 Aug 2017

"I'm a gay American, and that's all you're going to get in terms of a theme," concedes James Adomian. It's a refreshingly candid admission, given the glut of shows claiming to be more than just a collection of jokes about identity. Lacking in Character is a patchy but enjoyable hour that draws mostly from his curious perspective as an outsider to British culture.

Contrary to the title, Adomian is not shy of an impression, and here we're treated to a wide array of pop culture caricatures. Bernie Sanders, Louis CK and an archetypal Californian are among his best, although references such as Lewis Black and Jesse Ventura may be a little too niche for audiences unacquainted with the American zeitgeist. 

He loses a little momentum when he strays into a fairly trite routine on recreational drugs and the associated memory loss, and on the whole a more appropriate name for the show would be Lacking a Script Editor. It runs overlong and he finds himself wading through redundant segments just to get back to the funny voices. There is an excellent bit on homophobia, and inadvertent homoeroticism, within US advertising, but too few of the routines are memorable or original.

He's calminlgly nonchalant on stage, and delivers the gags with an acerbic drawl that elevates most of them into proper punchlines. You could do worse than to find yourself in Adomian's safe comedic hands, but a little fine-tuning is needed before his act reaches the heights it probably deserves.