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REVIEW: John Kearns @ Leadmill Comedy Club

Exposed reviewer Loz Harvey is always up for a laugh so we sent him down to check out Taskmaster’s King of the Prize Task, John Kearns, at The Leadmill Comedy Club

“Why do I do it?”, says John Kearns halfway through his triumphant return to the Leadmill Comedy Stage through his false teeth as he stares at the distinctive bald monk’s hair mask he’s worn in his acts for almost a decade. “I haven’t got a replacement; I don’t carry spares. I just like it!”.

Varnishing Days is fast winning Kearns a reputation that may even eclipse his performances on Taskmaster and 8 Out Of 10 Cats, and he’s back at the Leadmill for the second time in six months.

His show takes on big themes: art, the passing of knowledge from father-to-son, bin bags and the Snowman in a delightful way, like a shoutier and more physical Stewart Lee on an anger management programme, interspersed with moments of real warmth, clarity and hilarity.

John Kearns

Lucky for us that John’s brought his mate Pat Cahill along for a 20-minute support slot which includes a selection of ancient Whittlesea folk medleys from the 2nd century and a song about an Offal delivery box. “Get your offal box!” alongside a sour dough starter that turns into familial cannibalism every morning during bakers’ hours.

Kearns’ hour-long set never falters as he builds a hilarious monologue based on Tim Lovejoy asking him about his hobbies on Sunday Brunch and how he would be better than Jermaine Jenas hosting the One Show: “With respect, Jermaine, that 160-year-old tortoise hasn’t seen so much – he’s seen nothing!” to the way the mind wanders during lone parenting duties and how the best advice he delivers to his son is delivered to the back of his head so he thinks that “God is in the room.”

Don’t be fooled by the wig and teeth – Kearns has to be one of the best story-tellers around, big on nostalgia, surrealism and sheer hilarity. A great Sunday night set in Sheffield.

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