Photo of Josh Pugh

Josh Pugh: “Existin’ La Vida Loca”
Huntingdon Hall – “It’s a church!” – 18th February 2024

We first witnessed Nuneaton’s Josh Pugh on an under-card nearly three years ago and the tousled-haired scamp certainly made his comedic mark that night, as my partner and I enjoyed a libation. Since then Pugh has been living the “crazy life” on TV and nationwide tours…tonight’s impressive sell out was proof enough!

As he ambled out on stage with his trademark look of bemusement, he looked as if he was just about to start or finish his shift at B&Q, or Argos, or indeed a mind-numbing office job, where “shitting yourself to get sent home is more preferable.” Josh Pugh– is of the people.

The comedy is innocent and the only victim in the gags tends to be Pugh Esquire himself. That’s not to say the jokes are of a “Summer Wine” ilk. His jocular observations are relevant, slightly surreal at times, and riddled with the truth. Throughout the show the humour is wrapped around Pugh’s naturally genteel persona…

My partner’s bench –mark for the worth of a person is quite simple: would you go for a drink with them?

Clearly Pugh has been invited on a number of Stag weekends over the years. The “routine” where Pugh espoused the vagaries of the Stag weekend was even funnier than L-plates, inflatable dolls and flavoured condoms. Of course, as Pugh is the trustworthy one he was volunteered for the dual role by the fiancé of looking after the Stag. The punchline of, “buying the Stag vouchers so he could buy whatever he wanted when he got back home,” provoked rolling applause and ignited true laughter in the Hall, sorry Church.

There are no real ta-da moments or preoccupations with the well timed punch-line as such. The slightly shambolic delivery is relentless and the idea of stalling to bask in the laughter is not on the agenda. At times Pugh appears to be at the whim of pure bewilderment but this only distils the moment into a purer comedic event. His mannerisms, at times, mimic those of a toddler trying to make sense of this crazy life…

As a father Pugh is able to ridicule himself through his two year old son’s eyes. “I’ll be honest he is not convinced by his Dad and he would not believe this turn-out for me tonight.” The laughter was well-deserved and so was the replete Huntingdon Hall!

Indeed, Pugh didn’t just focus on the personal and individual, he also proffered his sardonic commentary on modern politics…and he is right, “I wouldn’t want someone who was taught maths in a portacabin to run the country’s economy.“ Consequently, we had to raise a glass to our hirsute comedian for this observation.

With his unaffected, tonal West-midlands accent, genuine bloke persona and the belief he has never written a spiteful comment on FB it is obvious Josh Pugh would be good company in the pub and I might even buy the first pint!

 My bench-mark of a good night out with a comedian is the audience talking animatedly about the show as we make our way out of the venue. The lads outside the Huntingdon Hall box office enthusiastically acting out the “routine” of Dads’ stamping out any sense of fun when we were growing-up was as clarifying as a belatedly deleted tweet. Cheers!

By: Nicholas David Burford

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