I did some exploring last Thursday, and decided to check out Punchline Comedy Club's foray into the Middle East. The club has had a presence in East and Southeast Asia and Australia for many years now, and it looks like a local someone thought to bring this stand-up show to our neighborhood. This is their second show in the Middle East, and their modus operandi shares a few features in common with their more locally-established niche competitor, The Laughter Factory; they have three stand-up performers per show touring different venues across the region, and a ticket that can be entered into a draw for tickets to a show in the next tour. One difference, though, is their dining tie-ins. And their attendee wristbands without adhesive surfaces that give you an unwanted depilation.
The first performer, a Canadian by the name of Paul Myrehaug, was okay. He had a few slow moments, , and his bits about the cougar experience and the well-fed daughter worked only marginally on me. Some risks did pay off; I found the joke about the morning after pill and post-shower sex hilarious, for example. Also, his endgame about the RJ ramp was played well.
The second performer, and Englishman named Rob Deering, claimed to be a "9" on the guitar. This is believable, given how he was able to rapidly segue into and out of sung jokes without missing a beat, and without compromising on his skilled use of the instrument. He used repetition and self-referential humor well; for example, the George Michael bit. His elastic face was also entertaining, and he used layering pedals on his playing, singing and beat-boxing to good effect.
Irishman Andrew Stanley did a good job working the audience up as the host for the night. His jocular jibes targeted at various nationalities in the audience were generally great, and he even took on the lone Emirati woman in the audience. He can definitely think fast on his feet, improvising up a very engaging host set.
Finally, I would like to commend the venue, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, for having some good interior design. I just had to have a walk-around after the show to get a better look at the place.