Dave Gorman first came to my attention many years ago when he was putting together Are You Dave Gorman?, which saw him fulfil a bet with then flatmate Danny Wallace that he could find and meet 54 other people with the same name as him. One of these was one time of Auchmuty High in Glenrothes, mine own former seat of learning.
That show was premiered at the Fringe 11 years ago and earned him a Perrier nomination, as well as a hit television show and book.
Since then, he’s had further success with Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure, the radio and TV series Genius, and America Unchained, which saw him try to cross the United States without using any corporate/ chain businesses.
It’s been eight years since he last appeared at the Fringe. Although now successful enough to do what many big comedians do and parachute in for just two or three sell-out nights, he’s up in Edinburgh for the full month.
“When I was a young man doing my first Fringe shows I’d resent it when someone came and did three days at the Playhouse,” he said.
“It would feel weirdly improper to be one of those guys I resented when I was young.”
So Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation is running for a full month, and a good thing that is too, as he’s put together one of the most enjoyable shows on the Fringe.
Accompanied by a giant screen, he delves into the realms of religion, advertising and Jim Davidson.
Having been brought up Christian and converted to atheism, he’s somewhat bemused to find himself in a prominent Jewish magazine’s list of 25 leading Jewish writers. Unable to dispel the myth of his Jewishness, he’s then miffed to find the same magazine DOESN’T include him in their list of the 25 funniest Jews.
Despite now being 40, Gorman is as tuned into and enthusiastic about technology as any teenager, and Facebook, Twitter etc feature prominently in his material.
He reveals that the BNP’s favourite comedian, Jim Davidson, has written and self-published a book about racial harmony via a Twitter conversation the two men had, and he performs a freeform poem he’s created from some of the nuttier commentors on the Guardian and Daily Mail websites.
The thoroughly strange world of advertising fascinates Gorman.
He explains that purveyors of analogue clocks almost invariably display their wares showing the time 10:08 because it makes the clock look like a smiley face.
Disturbingly, for such supposedly complex organisms, studies have shown that more human beings buy clocks showing happy times than sad times. Even though this cheap psychology only works in clocks with old-fashioned faces, mobile phone manufacturers have stuck doggedly to the credo, with one maker showing 10:08 on every phone they’ve ever advertised.
Gorman blends infectious enthusiasm and sharp insight into our modern world in a show in which his easygoing presentation belies the hard work that has gone into putting it together. Thoroughly recommended.
Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation is at Assembly George Square at 7.40pm until August 28.