Bill Bailey: Mumbler in Chief

I adore Bill Bailey. Who doesn’t? How can you not love a multi instrumental polymath with a anarchic streak and the politic leanings of an European leftie who refuses to swear on stage and still makes you laugh harder than any of the other ‘comedians’ out there. I still insist that Part Troll is the best comedy DVD ever released and by now I think I know it by heart. Last month I went to the Royal Albert Hall to see the man do his thing with Anne Dudley and the BBC Concert Orchestra and last weekend me and the best girlfriend ever watched the newest release of the master, ‘Tinselworm’.

Both in the Royal Albert Hall and on Tinselworm Bill Bailey’s greatest fallacy comes to light: the Master of Comedy is a terrible mumbler! While live in the Royal Albert Hall the best girlfriend and I blamed the crap sound, in Tinselworm it finally became apparent that the man is slurring his gags, especially when they come at the end of an elaborately set up routine: the last, decisive part of the sentence becomes a meaningless ‘snmvrbbsssschnffff’. One routine we had to listen to 5 times before we finally understood the whole thing, and it turned out to be the most brillant aside in the whole show.

It must be the side-effect of repeating your gags again and again that you finally throw them away as unidentifiable asides. Shame, but if you’re motivated enough to listen to the man again and again, the best gags are hidden under layers of mumbling.

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