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April 13, 2011 / Siobhan Argent

Simon Keck in Can’t Get No (review)

Published 13/4/11 at

Simon Keck’s Can’t Get No is everything Generation Y could wish for: an excuse not to get married, have kids, and sink into the everyday travails of the modern-day workaholic.

Very few topics are sacred to Keck; I mention it because I’m sure by now his girlfriend must be fuming. There’s some rather specific details of Keck’s love life that I’m not sure I needed to know. Fortunately, that doesn’t matter when the punch line that roles off this deeply personal revelation is absurdly funny. While I’d argue that these jokes were repeated with permission, it’s Keck’s delivery of the absurd and deeply personal that makes him worth watching, including his dedicated re-enactments of awkward situations with others.

Can’t Get No is about the satisfaction first-time mothers get from infringing on Keck’s personal space while he’s working in a cafe. It’s also about overweight people buying cakes and Keck’s own (sometimes validated) discrimination against them. Keck is an astute observer of the guilt-inducing reactions most people have to politically incorrect situations, hence the mother-bitches and overweight cake-eaters. He also has a fair crack at describing the delights of second-hand outfits every time an elderly gent passes away, all before launching into the surge in collagen-injected Brighton children and his initial awkward discovery of pornography. Somewhere along that line, every audience member will find something similar, if not painfully identical, to what they’ve experienced themselves.

Keck’s is the type of cringe comedy where you’ll wince at the punchline but laugh because, unfortunately, you’ve thought exactly the same thing. Can’t Get No seems to linger on the edge of a show searching for answers to the big questions about why humans are drawn towards marriage and children. Instead, it veers off in a delightfully asinine direction, questioning whether we even like marriage and child-rearing at all. Thankfully for Keck, his audience members testify that he’s not alone.


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