I’ve known who James is for quite a while but only seen him on the odd panel show here and there so this month I made a conscious effort to check out some of his work. I decided to do this after seeing his recent appearance on 8 Out of 10 Cats where he was absolutely hilarious- a complete weirdo, but a brilliant one. He really stood out during this episode as he seems to carry a strange kind of energy with him that is really refreshing to a panel show as they can get tedious very easily if the panel isn’t rotated regularly enough.
I think I like James because he reminds me of Paul Foot, one of my all time favourite comedians, though of course he has his own quirks that make him so original. They both have brilliant confidence that is hidden behind an apparent shyness, so it is surprising when they come out with something either quite profound or very shocking. His presence on panel shows is a powerful one: he just needs to give a certain look and everyone will be laughing and I think that must be a really hard skill to master.
James is young-looking, wide-eyed and innocent but also incredibly quick-witted and wise for his age. I thought his material about the apple in the orchard, featured in the clip below, was very clever yet didn’t feel self-indulgent in any way. With complicated material, many comics get caught up in the selfish side of it: of appearing clever or superior, but James doesn’t do this at all. He remains charmingly simple but we can see he has a sharp mind.
I definitely recommend you check James Acaster out as he is gaining more and more fans with every passing week. His twitter is here so follow him if you’re into that twitter malarky.