Abnormally Funny People
26 January, 10pm
STAR RATING: 4/5
Forget Little Britain and its lame jokes about disabled people, this programme, originally shown in December, is far funnier and more original about disability than the tired BBC sketch show ever was, writes Mark Drinkwater.
For those of us who didn’t catch Abnormally Funny People at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, this is a chance to see some of the highlights of the performances alongside a behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsals for the critically acclaimed show.
We follow the five disabled comedians (plus one token able-bodied comic) as they rehearse and develop their disparate acts into one cohesive show for the festival.
Along the way, both the veterans and newer performers start to question whether it is right to make fun of disability. But by the time they make it to the Scottish capital, the show is packed with memorable one-liners, including blind comedian Chris McCauseland’s opening gambit: “Don’t build your hopes up too much, because they’ve decided to start the show with a blind guy doing observational comedy!”; and Simon Minty’s amusing assessment of the potential pitfalls of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995: “With all these ramps, we’re f–ked if the Daleks ever come back!”
This was a genuinely funny show, and emphatic proof that disability issues can be a laughing matter.
Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in Southwark, south London