Dave Gorman isn’t your typical modern comedian. He doesn’t shout or swear at you. He doesn’t do impressions. He isn’t a pub landlord, or rely on an odd accent. What he does do, however, is provide knowledge. He is like a great teacher, instructing in a classroom, armed with only his laptop and remote but tasked with educating us in the ways of the world. He does this through his books, his radio performances and most recently, his show, Modern Life is Goodish.
Dave Gorman’s style of performance is an enigma. It shouldn’t be so funny to listen to a man’s ordinary gripes, questions and musings about the world, while he occasionally clicks a button to advance a slide, or get a witty graphic up on screen to emphasise his point. But Dave finds it so easy to perpetually have his audience in stitches at the sheer absurdity, depravity and downright desperation of the modern world; his particular focus of media is the internet, television and literature.
Although his specialist topic is extracting the ridiculous from the sublime, Dave Gorman is incredibly good at paraphrasing, or rather converting a topic so it is much simpler to understand. While out of respect for the integrity and privacy of his show, I won’t elaborate on this further, I will say that once you have listened to Mr Gorman speaking about extractor fans, you will never see them in the same way again. Or a Vienetta for that matter.
Dave Gorman’s signature move comes in the form of the Found Poem, which he would inevitably like to perform for us all. Like some kind of virtual scrapheap sifter, Mr Gorman finds topics that people quite frankly have no need to be interested in, yet manage to get themselves incredibly worked up about and traverses into the murky pit that is the ‘Comments’ section. From there, he procures for himself the greatest, most bizarre gems of literature contrived by the affronted readers (who should never have any interest in the topic in the first place) and shines them together in a lyrical piece accompanied by a beautiful orchestral backing. Although this material comes ready made for him in the form of disgruntled couplets, he still manages to meld them together and stamp his unmistakable voice, and meaning into the verbal masterpiece of unrequited, unnecessary anger and confusion.
Although to some all this preparation and technology may seem grandiose, he is much simpler than this. Dave sees things from a perspective seldom used nowadays- common sense. He is incredibly good at verbalising what we are all thinking, but unable to say. The audience, myself included hang onto every word he says, waiting for the next witty interjector, or nugget of knowledge which may seem common sense to us, but clearly does not to others. The best testament to the man is the fact he can simply begin to crease up, or giggle slightly during a segment (usually the Found Poem), and the entire audience will burst into total laughter, such is the way he emits humour.
In an era where we so often allow drudgery and misery of all forms to push us down and oppress us, laughter is perhaps more important than ever. As such, I and countless others are forever grateful to Dave Gorman, the master educator who always reminds us that Modern Life is Goodish.