Stand-up comedy review: Nish Kumar: Ruminations on the Nature of Subjectivity
James R | On 19, May 2021
Whenever someone on Twitter asks people to name a comedian they don’t find funny, there’s one name that inexplicably crops up at the top of the list: Nish Kunar. It’s not inexplicable because the racial prejudice that fuels this wall of abuse is blatant; it’s inexplicable because several years ago, Nish already dissected the subjective nature of his profession in a way that was not only precise but also hilarious.
The host of the now-cancelled The Mash Report excelled as a front man on that topical series thanks to his unique blend of laser-targeted deadpan commentary and exasperated rants – and that conflicting persona, swinging between loud, brash egotist and bleak cynic, is at the heart of his special, which uses that as a springboard to tackle such issues as how we form our opinions of others.
Where some comedians hang their observational jokes on everyday minutiae, Nish builds his around big picture ideas, but weaves that with personal anecdotes – such as the time he saw the film Shame with his father. He’s as at home railing against the state of the world as is he reading out puns based on his name – and while the latter involves reciting from a notebook, so confident is his rapid-fire blitz through every topic that there’s no question about his needing a prompt. The dizzying speed of his delivery means this hour flies by in what feels like 20 minutes – and that’s possibly the best demonstration of subjective perception he could come up with.
Nish Kumar: Ruminations on the Nature of Subjectivity is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription. It is also available to rent on Soho Theatre On Demand for £4.