TV Review: Frankie Boyle Live: Excited for You to See and Hate This, BBC

TV Review: Frankie Boyle Live: Excited for You to See and Hate This, BBC

Has Frankie Boyle got more mellow or has everybody else got more furious? I missed this show when it slipped out on the BBC a couple of nights ago but the fact that it seems to have been broadcast without that much in the way of green-inked complaints to the Director-General suggests that life is so extreme now that even Boyle at his vicious best here does little to raise the blood pressure. 

This show is his hometown Glasgow gig at the iconic King’s Theatre after completing his first major tour of Scotland in over 12 years. His journey around the country of his birth was chronicled in the BBC series Frankie Boyle’s Tour of Scotland, but nothing was as brutal in that series as his stand-up here. Misanthropic humour at its bleakest.

It's 44 minutes of undiluted Boyle bile as he puts the boot into pretty much everything that he comes across, from comedy to politics to the morality of stand-ups doing ads and more. He has a number of particularly entertaining ways of describing the likes of Johnson and Gove, each one funnier and more offensive than the last. He is also sharp on controversy on comedy, interrogating his own past jokes during the Paralympics.

Ricky Gervais comes under his gaze too, as he talks about the After Life star's routine about transgender issues. The target for Boyle is Gervais himself. The Glaswegian acknowledges that Gervais is a terrific writer, but what he shouldn't do is identify as a stand-up comedian. 

Boyle, of course, is a great writer too, and not a word is wasted here. Occasionally he will tread into familiar comic terrain, such as reflecting on his failing middle-aged sex drive, but even when his take on a topic is predictable, what actually comes out of his putrid potty mouth is utterly unexpected. He is a wordsmith par excellence. Even when the words are disgusting.

It takes something really extreme to annoy me and there is only one thing in Boyle's set that boils my proverbial piss. And that's his laugh. If you think Jimmy Carr's strangled seal giggle is hard to take Boyle's throttled hyena is just as bad. Now where is my green ink, I might have to write a letter to the BBC about that.  

Repeated Sunday, July 26, 11.25pm, BBC Two. Or available on catch-up for the next 11 months here.

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