There’s an old showbiz anecdote about the trajectory of stardom that goes something like this: “Who is X? Get me X. Get me a cheaper X. Get me a younger X. Who is X?” In this case X is probably Tim Vine and the younger version is Darren Walsh. Not that Vine is likely to get to the final forgotten stage for a long time yet if ever, but Walsh is definitely cut from the same punmeistery cloth. His style is witty, silly, playful wordplay broken up by silly, witty, playful illustrations. In his first full-length show Punderbolt there are also animations and iPad-aided bits, so Walsh is also moving the form on in his own modern, idiosyncratic way. It took Vine a while to get to the top of the one-liner tree and Walsh’s swift rise is partly down to the likes of Vine, Milton Jones and Stewart Francis popularising the quickfire form. It is also down to the fact that he is very funny. As he tweeted yesterday, "My friend was charged with satanic murder, but he got off with lambslaughter." Walsh won the first UK Pun Championship in 2013 and has already published his own book, Cheep Laughs. Don’t chicken out from seeing him.
Darren Walsh is at The Pleasance until Aug 31, tickets here.