Andy boorman Hey! What's Going On? (independent) Rating: NN; CD release party, with Boorman, Alex Nussbaum, Paul Irving, Paul Haywood, Chris Finn and Peter and Pat, hosted by Laurie Elliott and Mary Crosbie, tonight and tomorrow (September 13 and 14) at Clinton's (693 Bloor West), 9:30 pm. $10. 416-535-9541.
you know a comic's in trouble when his routines get more claps than laughs. That's the case with Andy Boorman on his debut CD, which launches tonight and tomorrow at Clinton's.After most bits, the audience applauds dutifully, as if to say, "Wow, Andy, you didn't make us laugh, but you obviously think you're clever, so we'll acknowledge that fact with applause. Because the alternative, silence, would just be embarrassing for everyone."
Boorman's been performing for less than two years, mostly at the Pirate Video Cabaret, and that inexperience shows. He hasn't found his voice.Like a lot of other comics, he has one hand on the remote control, the other spooning out Kraft Dinner. But there's a poetic, surreal streak in him, too, that needs to be developed.
Adopting a simple, faux-naive stance, Boorman frequently reads out letters addressed to celebrities (Oprah, Olympic rower Marnie McBean), prefacing these routines with fake product endorsements. But the ironies, insights and targets (John Tesh? C'mon!) feel as stale as the day-old grilled cheese sandwich he talks about in the show. He's hiding behind his material.
A couple of stray throwaway lines show a potential wicked wit. One phrase about skateboarders is funnier than most of his extended stories. And listen to his kick-ass rant about the Canadarm -- the anger is there.
But unlike his peers Gord Disley and Kristeen von Hagen, Boorman hasn't learned how to shape that anger into first-rate comedy. Yet.