“We would have to have had a Proclaimer each” – were the philosophical musing of one of the UK’s best loved comedians on Saturday night in regards to what a Yes vote could have meant following the Scottish referendum.
A Reid brother for England, a Reid brother for Scotland.
“But what about Wales and Northern Ireland?” – Ross Noble then posed.
The Geordie comedian proved his effervescent, sporadic and spontaneous blend of stand-up comedy still works, and works well, at a packed Aberdeen Music Hall.
Noble brought his zany, absurdist takes on current political – and world – affairs to the Aberdeen crowd, but the show was defined by his trademark spontaneity.
His style of improv brings to mind that of the late Robin Williams – Noble seems to possess that same overwhelming comedic energy which has the power to infectiously spread through his audience.
“You’re really digging a hole for yourself now” – one audience member called out to him at one point during the show’s second half.
“That’s what I do”, he replied, grabbing hold of an imaginary shovel and pretending to dig, adding, “I must be a Chilean miner by now.”
Noble’s rapport with his crowd is also part and parcel of his routine, adding to his everyman stage presence, and the idea that comedy is in his DNA.
The jokes simply come streaming out of Noble effortlessly in improvised scenarios and anecdotes, all branching from each other in a verbal scrapbook of comedy.
Jokes directed at Aberdeen’s greyness resulted in a running joke about elephant genitalia (Did you know, Aberdeen would be the perfect city to hide an elephant? Well, Noble thinks so anyway).
The Aberdeen public themselves played a crucial role in Noble’s routine, with the comedian entering into a continous, on-going dialogue with the audience.
One man in the front row was spotted within mere seconds of his appearance on-stage due to a distinctive, eastern tattoo on his arm.
It prompted a half-time Twitter appeal to find out what the calligraphy stood for, and an on-going joke which will be unique to the Aberdeen audience, and to Saturday’s show.
Before long, audience members labelled “Norwegian man”, “UKIP”, “Chinese Arm” and “Local MP” (actually MSP for Aberdeen Donside, Mark McDonald) were all crucial components of Noble’s hilarious, two-hour show.
Which is what makes Noble’s stand-up so worthwhile, it is not scripted, it is formed on the day, often on the stage, by the people who show up to see him.