Adam Buxton is one half of the excellent comedy duo Adam and Joe (he and Joe Cornish have been friends since school) who became popular in the ’90s with their Channel 4 show Adam and Joe Show, followed by radio shows on Xfm and BBC Radio 6 Music.
Over the last few years Adam and Joe have been taking some time to follow their individual careers; Joe is off directing films (such as Attack the Block) and Adam has been making a successful stage show called BUG which enjoyed a successful transition to the small screen (Sky Atlantic). BUG started as a show for the BFI Southbank in London and has previously been taken on tour around the UK and to the US.
Now Buxton is taking some Best of BUG shows on tour around the UK, and he has just been through Manchester (also holding BUG Radiohead the following night) at the Royal Northern College of Music.
If you are not familiar with BUG, let me explain. Buxton sources some of the best (and most unconventional) music videos on the internet and builds a show around them. I know this may sound like sheer laziness, but, what Buxton then does is draws on the hilarious YouTube comments left by users. He picks out some of the most racist, homophobic, sexist and generally ridiculous comments for ridicule. He uses them and builds a character around them, turning what could be considered trolling into very funny commentary on the nature of the internet, and YouTube in particular as a place to ridicule and abuse without having to expose yourself.
For each show, Buxton has a virtual suitcase ready of gems – and always has a number of hilariously named files. Although his show is made up of music videos, the best part if you never know what you are going to get in a show. From folk, dubstep, electorinica to indie, I have been introduced to new bands and artists through BUG that I may never have come across myself. Buxton shows their videos for their ingenuity and through a love of the media form, as well as using the comments to create a comedy show.
Now, you may be thinking “well I can go onto YouTube and find weird videos and then read through the comments and make fun of them”, but I defy you to find the pure gold Buxton finds. Add to this the rapport Buxton has with the audience (granted this may work better at a stage show than the TV show), his natural wit and sarcasm and you are onto a winner.