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Christian O’Connell: Breaking Dad review

“Christian O’Connell has the charisma to charm when musing about dead guinea pigs and sex with a watermelon”

Christian O’Connell: Breaking Dad
Underbelly

Christian O’Connell boasts one of the most recognisable voices in Britain. He’s a multi-award winning Absolute Radio DJ, one of few in the UK with a listenership to rival the BBC monolith.

But not one to shy from a challenge, after admitting his morning-job comprises “playing some songs and telling the time”, he stepped back under the comedy club spotlight for the first time in two decades last year.

O’Connell undoubtedly has the sharpness and likability for stand-up and, as shown tonight, the warmth and charisma to somehow charm when musing about dead guinea pigs and having sex with a watermelon. The latter tale – not a personal experience, I should point out – he discovered when reading the hapless DadsNet forum. “This is what helps is out there for dads,” he laughs.

This self-depreciating, no-one-helps-the-dads shtick dominates O’Connell’s routine

This self-depreciating, no-one-helps-the-dads shtick dominates O’Connell’s routine, as he explores his own experience of modern fatherhood (with his most powerful tool being the wifi password) compared to his old man’s traditional 1970s ways.

The biggest laugh came in unpredictable fashion as O’Connell asked if the couple celebrating their silver wedding anniversary made it along, only to be met with a bashful sigh of “ugh, yes” from a gloomy male voice in the dark. Impromtu comedy at its finest.

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However, it’s the personal anecdotes – having the birds and the bees chat with his eldest daughter, accidentally reading his 60-odd-year-old’s father’s NHS advice guide on comfortable sex positions – where O’Connell thrives.

Jarred only with the odd unnecessary, forced one-liner, this is the sort of material we can all connect with and laugh about in one way or another, delivered with a coolness and humility.

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