Review: Howlin Comedy Club @ New Wimbledon Studio


Forget Manchester, Howlin has the real comedy Giggs.


By Tristan Carlyle

I missed the Manchester derby for this.

As others were awaiting the most anticipated Premier League match of all time, I was in a dark Wimbledon basement.

In truth – and I write this tentatively – I reckon I got the better end of the stick.

While United were busy underwhelming on the pitch, the comedians at Howlin Comedy Club exceeded my expectations.

Comedy events are best when they offer a diverse range of performers. A group of jokers competing with one another to shout their most outrageous gags the loudest just doesn’t work over the course of an evening. It’s not a panel show.

Thankfully, Howlin offered a decent bit of variety.

The first act, Eric Potts, and the compere for the evening, Kevin McCarthy, are somewhat portly gentleman. Or, as Potts put it, their second buttock gets hit with a surcharge whenever they fly easyJet.

Both men had a ‘grumpy old men’ charm about them. Parking costs, mobile phones and ‘OMG the acronyms the kids use today’ were the main targets – the kind of jokes that would have my parents snorting into their wine glasses.

Michael Fabbri, the second act, looked perpetually confused. He stumbled through his set as if each new bit was a freshly occurring thought – it was an enjoyable change of pace. His painful recollections of a failed education were among the best jokes of the night (“University clearing is where the kids who failed to get on the geography course at Cambridge end up doing spoon-bending in Luton”).

Headliner Andrew Bird gave a polished performance telling of his journey into manhood. Indeed, Bird’s set mirrored his comedy, maturing as it went on. His transition from ‘knob gags’ to questioning parenthood was seamless.

The audience clearly loved the night, including the gentleman to my right who participated in the ‘paedo’ jokes rather vigorously. Perhaps a beer too many?

Definitely a good show, just a shame about the Kompany.

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