DOM Joly would have us believe this 70-date tour was booked by his agent without his knowledge.
In an interview with the Examiner a few weeks ago he reckoned he’s no stand-up comedian and didn’t really know what he’d do on the tour.
And there is that sense of not knowing where he is, who he is or what his funny role is in life these days.
Either that or he’s a better actor than comic.
The show starts off with Joly in the audience waiting for Joly the entertainer to appear on stage – and heckles himself.
And that, in a way, sets the scene for the next couple of hours.
He’s made a name for himself on shows such as Channel 4’s Trigger Happy TV, BBC’s World Shut Your Mouth and finally with Sky 1’s Dom Joly’s Happy Hour – and it sets off promisingly enough with Joly showing some of his most famous sketches and then talking about how they set them up.
Often he claims there’s no deeper meaning than that they’re just foolish pranks which is strange as I’d always thought they sometimes had a lot to say about the kind of society we live in.
He came across on stage as self-effacing, outwardly playing himself down yet clearly relying on his celebrity status to flog the tickets.
Being in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here must have helped him there.
During the tour he’s taken questions from the audience but there was no sign of that in Huddersfield and, on the whole, the audience seemed reserved and bemused.
There were would-be hecklers on the front row who Joly could have bantered with, but he drew back from that. And even when a group of young lads burst in and ran upstairs chased by LBT staff he simply said: “Playing kiss chase, lads,’’ and that moment was gone.
Joly seemed to only scratch the surface of what he’s been up to but you never felt the sense he was revealing too much about himself or his work even though he is a renowned travel writer and so clearly has a clever way with words.
What he did reveal was the appalling waste of BBC licence payers’ money when he went round the world to do sometimes just one sketch which often wasn’t that funny in a series called World Shut Your Mouth in 2005.
They spent days searching for an Eskimo in Newfoundland, eventually found one sitting next to a hole in the ice fishing and while Joly’s camera crew hid in the snow under white sheets to capture the moment, Joly crept up behind the Eskimo and crashed two cymbals together.
It gave the Eskimo the shock of his life and he probably spent the next days and weeks wondering if that had really happened or was he going mad.
Joly then reckoned he flew back home with just that in the can – and if that’s right we’ve all been had.
You get the feeling that his career has reached a crossroads.
He’s done the secret camera, prank, silly gag routine for a long time and remarkably successfully in the early days of Trigger Happy TV. Best was probably Joly and his mate dressed as monkeys hammering a car at a safari park with a wheel jack. When he showed that to his kids aged six and 10 he says they watched with a mixture of horror and pity – it was the first time they realised what their dad was doing for a living.
He’s clearly yearning to do something else but in recent times he’s been boozing around the world on Sky One’s Dom Joly’s Happy Hour looking at drinking habits around the world, blacking out after consuming 93% proof vodka in Russia.
He also totally milked the fact that he went to the same school in the Lebanon as Osama Bin Laden. Clearly he doesn’t remember him from there as the terror leader-to-be was several years older.
The show could have revealed so much more – how the stunts were set up, why, the reactions they got and what happens when they go wrong – yet somehow Joly only dug into his past with a trowel rather than a spade.
And it all ended strangely with Joly getting the audience to dance crazily, pretend to sleep and then run out of the theatre for what he reckoned would be a possible trailer for a film he plans called War Of The Flea.
And that was it – the end of the night.
Perhaps that was one way around seeing how much applause he was going to get at the end.