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Reviews

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Reginald D Hunter - St David's Hall, Cardiff

American comedian Reginald D Hunter has been a regular fixture on British television over the past decade with several appearances on the panel shows such as Have I Got News for You (HIGNFY) and 8 Out of 10 Cats. However, like many comedians, he’s come to real prominence through controversy after an infamous appearance at the PFA Awards Ceremony earlier this year. Using the n-word in his set sent the tabloids into meltdown but the old adage of ‘any news is good news’ meant a spike in sales for his latest tour, In the Midst of Crackers, was inevitable.

Reg is a smooth talking stand-up with an infectious Deep South drawl. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he doesn’t load his set with quick-fire gags and audience put-downs. Instead, he prefers to muse over his subjects and gradually build up the laughs. Reg begins by recounting his run-in with the PFA (‘Frankie Boyle was on holiday that week’, apparently) and his use of n-word which, in Reg’s world, can be used to describe crisps (‘crunchy n-words’), hen parties (‘bouncy n-words’) and sumo wrestlers (‘fighting n-words’). This is Reg’s patois and he’s sticking with it.

In the Midst of Crackers, Reg explains, is a reference to society’s delusions. He appeared on HIGNFY alongside MP Nadine Dorries and, after a brief conversation with her daughter at the after show party, became the subject of a Tweet from Dorries that used the hashtag #wheresmyshotgun (it seems all those Bush Tucker Trials on I’m A Celebrity… were richly deserved).

Reg is an observational comedian at heart, but he does have a tendency to meander a little too much and the set can feel a bit self-indulgent on occasion. His stories about growing up in Georgia are very funny (especially the exchanges with his father about the facts of life) but his set would come to life a little more with some of the sharp punch lines he’s renowned for on the box (which is probably what the PFA expected when they booked him). A good show, but someone of Reg’s class can move through higher comic gears than this.

Michael Took