Simon Amstell and I have the same love life. During the course of his show I came to realize that he and I not only have the same taste in men, but the same pathetic way of not getting them. His comedy is personal, heartfelt and sincere, far removed from the acerbic barbs which viewers of Never Mind the Buzzcocks know and love him for.
His routine started off with a lament to the amount of sinks in his bathroom and how they daily mock his loneliness, a point he circles back to on a couple of occasions, heightening the idea that what he is telling us is not a one off, bad dating story, but instead a pattern which dictates his romantic happiness, or lack thereof. There are several moments where the audience ‘aww’ him instead of laughing, a new experience for me at a comedy show, but a very pleasant one.
Throughout Amstell’s show, via his nervous stance and slightly hesitant delivery, the audience is entirely on his side. He is a comedian almost impossible to dislike, a comedian our generation has grown up with on Pop World and Buzzcocks. Essentially we feel we know him, so to see him in such a different and revealing setting is both refreshing and strangely unsettling. I’m sure I’m not the only one in the audience who wanted to run on stage and give him a hug.
His show leads the audience through his romantic failings, on a charming journey of self discovery through repeated mistakes. Amstell talks us through ideal men, falling in love with fantasies, and how not to chat up movie stars (upon meeting Jared Leto, his perfect man, at a full moon party in Thailand, he apparently uttered the immortal words “Your beauty in Requiem for a Dream detracted from the narrative.” Mr Leto walked away.).
An idea which lingers throughout is that life is short and that everybody dies, perhaps not the richest vein of comedy gold, but a surprisingly uplifting one. Amstell convincingly argues that in order to be happy, and get your requisite amount of “rumbly-tumbly” you have to live in the moment. Perhaps it’s time for he and I to take control of our identical love lives. The worst that can happen is we create some new material for a stand up show. If I get rejected, I’m blaming you Mr. Amstell.