Best known for his hilarious take on life explained using the medium of a PowerPoint presentation, Dave Gorman has unquestionably found his niche in comedy.
Despite the star of Modern Life Is Goodish ending the popular television show in 2017, he’s packed up his projector for a new tour, With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint, adding extra dates due to demand.
Heading to Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre on Sunday 10 November 2019, Dave spoke to SoGlos about his love for the town’s famous theatre, his return to television in October, and why he thinks PowerPoint gets a bad rep!
For more information and to book tickets, visit everymantheatre.org.uk.
It’s such a cliché, but Cheltenham is a Matcham theatre [designed by architect Frank Matcham] and they are simply the best theatres in the country. I just can’t wait to get back there!
The title hopefully gives away the fact I’m using PowerPoint, which is quite fundamental to what I do. There’s two parts to the show, and in the second part I run through more than 700 slides in 90 minutes… I’m pressing the clicker every five to 10 seconds to put new information on the screen.
Whenever I tell people about that, there’s usually two reactions. The first is people who’ve seen what I do before who tend to go: ‘Oh good! We like it when you do that!’ and then I know there are lots of other people who are more: ‘PowerPoint? How could this possibly be funny?’ and that reaction always seems a bit odd to me. All it means is that I’m showing you lots of videos and pictures, and back up the things that I’m telling you.
I’m not using PowerPoint in the same way that your boss might use PowerPoint. The fact you’ve seen a boring person using a boring PowerPoint for boring purposes doesn’t mean PowerPoint is inherently boring, any more than you’ve probably seen a boring person use a microphone. You don’t hold that against all people who use microphones!
When I was doing Modern Life Is Goodish, which I’m really proud of, we did 36 hours of one-man-shows. That’s essentially an Edinburgh [fringe festival] show turned into a TV show every week. Most comics are considered prolific if they’re writing a new hour every year, and I wrote 36 in five years, so it was quite a push for material.
The reason it took such man hours was because the only person who could make the show work was me. I don’t write a script, I build the PowerPoint – so I couldn’t give it to anyone else to make, because that was my way of getting the show down. I was the one that needed to know when to press the button and say the words on the night.
I was working 100-hour weeks making those shows, and at some point, I said: ‘This is not sustainable. I really love it, but I’ve got a kid, and I’d like to see him more.’
Everything ended really positively and the network was really supportive. But they said: ‘we’d love to have you back, if you can think of something else!’
The new show sprung from conversations I’ve had with comedians. I’d bump into other comics and friends and they’d say: ‘I really liked that bit you did on such-and-such, do you know what I think?’ and they’d have other thoughts on top.
So, the idea for this show is to throw some other voices in, so I don’t have to build quite as much PowerPoint, and instead I’ve got three guests to bounce off. I build bits of PowerPoint to start off the conversation or to play games with them, but they’re there to do a lot of the heavy lifting.
I don’t think it changed it a great deal, but in that same series I did an in-depth dissection of Topsy and Tim the kids’ TV show. All I did was use the same rigorous logic that I’d previously applied to things like Homes Under The Hammer, but it was just on other shows that I spend hours watching now!
It doesn’t really matter whether the audience have watched it or not because of the PowerPoint. It’s not the comedy of: ‘Oh yes! I’ve seen that too, I can relate’ – which is what a lot of stand-up is. It’s comedy of: ‘You haven’t seen this before, but let me take you on a journey and show you this thing I’ve been living with’. So, people who’ve never seen Topsy and Tim or held a Toot Toot car, will watch those little bits and find it just as funny as people who have.
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