A few minutes in to the first of a three-night run at the Grand Theatre, Dara O'Briain confessed he was nervous about returning to stand up.
The Irish comic's last stand-up tour, Craic Dealer , was in 2012 — and his television work, from panel show Mock the Week to Stargazing Live with Professor Brian Cox and last week's solar eclipse coverage — has prevented him from treading the boards.
But there was no need for nerves. Despite his stage hiatus, O'Briain was as sharp as ever, riffing about how the world has changed since his last tour.
In the beginning he was talking at double speed, in fact, the whole show was fast-paced, but the jokes weren't lost.
Crowd Tickler didn't have a particular theme — he did discuss the brain for a while, loyal to his nerdy obsession with science — but it didn't need one.
His observational style creates a familiarity with the 43-year-old that makes you feel like you're listening to a mate down the pub, not watching a international comic and TV star.
His take on the modern obsession with box sets and the latest must-see drama was spot on, and he took audience interaction beyond the usual 'who are you and what do you do' with hilarious, surprising results.
And I'm still laughing at his dance moves — though sadly he's ruled out a stint on Strictly (Twitter campaign, anyone?).
In many ways O'Briain's humour is quite child-like. Far from immature, the content is clever and engaging, but the delivery has a childish, mischievous quality that has the audience in hysterics.
He's a down-to-earth, observational comic who can create laugher out of the mundane — from lane swimming in pools to the agony of booking a family holiday online.
He's been all over our TV screens in recent years — from Mock The Week to Stagazing Live, as the dedicated host of The Apprentice: You're Fired and presenting nerdy series School of Hard Sums and Dara O'Briain's Science Club — but last night's return to his stand up roots proved all he needs to entertain is a mic and a stage.
Dara O'Briain is at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, tonight and Friday night before his tour moves on to Bristol Hippodrome.
Tickets for his Leeds show are still available: click here or call 0844 848 2700 to book.