Brendan Grace

(12 Jun 2008)

It’s a funny old world,

Well it is when it’s seen through the eyes of Brendan Grace. The sanctimonious priest who knows more than he’s telling; “Blessed is she who gets married in the nick of time.” The drunken parent making a speech at his daughter’s wedding; “she could have married someone with money. She could have married someone who was working. She could have someone who wasn’t working...but was willing to work.” The schoolboy with the unspeakable habits and a fine line in sympathy pleas.

Brendan Grace is all of these and more.

Each cock-eyed portrait he paints has a ring of truth that brings audiences to the point of apoplexy. Unique, he is. But Brendan’s material owes more to the best of traditional stand-up comics than it does to modern alternative humour. Sure, his voices are the voices of the people; but the subtleties of a nudge, a knowing wink and a throwaway line are his forte.

And there is sincerity about his act that endears you to him. You can’t help but warm to his arm round – the – shoulder, “I’m on your side, buddy’, personality. You can’t help but escape the thought that if you met him in a bar, you would have a friend for life.

It is called charisma. And Brendan Grace oozes with it. Who does he remind you of/ you pick up hints of Benny Hill and Frankie Howard wit unashamed innuendo that takes you to the brink of vulgarity but never drops you over the edge. This is shaded with a delivery and a timing that would do justice to Bob Hope and George Burns. Then again , there is just a touch of the calculated lunacy of a Groucho Marx. And over it all, in the sidelong glance from those hooded eyes and the puff of chipmunk cheeks, you see a remarkable resemblance to a young Orson Wells. Even so Brendan Grace is very much his own man. A man who genuinely funny in his own right.

Ol’ Blue-Eyes knows talent when he sees it.

To be feted by your peers is the finest compliment that can be paid to anyone in the public eye. To be applauded by one of the greatest entertainers in the business, then to be hired and given a contract to appear in a top-spot in London with the man himself is a dream come true. Yet this is precisely what happened to Brendan Grace.

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