"This isn't the most linear show you're likely to see."
— Ross Noble's massive understatement on his "Unrealtime" DVD.
You might not think that such hilarity would come from a hairy geordie bloketalking bollocks for two hours. But it does.Ross Noble is an English comedian, but unlike any other. His ability to improvise, his tendency to go off on strange, but relevant, tangents and the influence the audience has over him mean no two of his shows, even on the same tour, are alike. In the best possibly way, though, as there is a kind of surreal, stream-of-consciousness logic to what he says.As the man himself describes it: "It's a bit like gluing meat to your face." ...Y'know, because it seems odd to most people, but it sort of has logic behind it: "They might just be trying to ward off the advances of an amorous vegan!"List of DVDs
One example is a five minute spot he had a Canadian comedy festival, he never actually got to any of his material he spent the whole time talking about the architecture of the stage.
This even applies to his DVD commentaries, the finest example of which has to be the Things show commentary. He spends at least fifteen minutes interrupting himself and going off on tangents, and, in fact, interrupts his tangents to go off on more tangents. As the man himself says,
"It's like a never-ending spiral of possibilities!"
In an absurdly literal case, during one filming of The Headspace Cowboy both Ross and the audience are repeatedly distracted by individual pieces of confetti slowly falling onto the stage, apparently left over from some previous show.
Audience Participation: Ross encourages people to shout at him during the show, as long as they don't interrupt him. A lot of fans toss things onto the stage as well, which he will usually discuss in minute detail. And anyone who is late will be the main subject of discussion for at least the next five minutes.
The Beastmaster: According to Ross, Jon Bon Jovi was once attacked by a swarm of cats, leading him to believe he possessed the power to command animals. They actually just wanted to play with the tassels on his jacket.
Bizarchitecture: The oyster-shaped car showroom was built to be Noble's "Oyster Domain!".
Ross also has no idea what the big orange thing/aka. the set of his Randomist tour. He thinks it looks like an Easyjet plane crash.
Black Comedy Rape: The story of the bum-faced child in Fizzy Logic getting "bummed in the face" by a baboon.
"Everybody come quickly! This child is being bummed in the face!"
Brick Joke: His Nonsensory Overload show had him reference his famous "meat-on-the-face" bit from Live at the Apollo from 2004. Said bit was in reference to Lady Gaga's 'meat dress' and was given with no explanation whatsoever, making it quite a non-sequitur for a few people. Lampshaded immediately afterwards.
"That's one for the fans, you see."
This happens with a number of jokes in each routine due to his habit of making tangents. Jokes referenced in the first twenty minutes often don't get concluded until the very end.
In Randomist Ross' impersonation of Sky News is "There's loads of bad shit happening in the world- bad shit happening in the world. Don't go! There's more bad shit happening in the world. More bad shit happening. Non-stop, twenty-four-seven."
Catch Phrase: Nothing in particular or "official", but there are certain phrases he says quite a bit. One notable example is "Shut your faces!" when people laugh while he's trying to say something serious (usually because it's so outlandish). For example, at one show shortly after the birth of his daughter, an audience member asked him what they named her. When he replied "Elf", the audience all laughed. "Oh, shut your faces!".
He almost always starts shows with "Hello, hello, hello, how are you, are you all doing very well?"
"There's a fine line between entertainment, and a hostage situation."
Everything's Better with Monkeys: Most shows contain references to monkeys. For example after Australians keep wishing him a "Great day!" instead of a nice day, Noble muses that a "great" day would involve a visit to the zoo and seeing children being attacked by monkeys.
"And then you took the words right out of my mouth!/I was thinkin' about the shitty quality of the wolf./You won the wolf at a fairground?/It's clearly gonna burst into flames when you give it to a child."
He also is given a small porcelain cow in one show.
Expospeak Gag: "An Owl Neck Detection Device... which is really just a stick with a pointy bit on it"
Fee Fi Faux Pas: A truly legendary example happened in Adelaide during the 2012 tour. During the interval, one of the items left on the stage was a piece of smiley fritz (a kind of ham made to look like a face that is exclusive to South Australia), and Ross decided that it was the most bogan thing he'd ever seen, immediately launching into making fun of it. He put his hands all over it then put it on his face, but it slid off too easily, so he borrowed the sunglasses of a woman in the front row to hold it on there. So he put the fritz on his face and then the glasses on top, making them all sticky. When done, he apologised, admitting sheepishly that he hoped the woman wasn't vegetarian. She was Muslim. Ross very apologetically offered to buy her new glasses and give her free merchandise, admitting that he would be dining out on the story for a long time.
Foreign Queasine: At one point during his Australian trip, Ross has the pleasure of trying Pig Nipples, Duck's Nuts, and pickled Lamb's Brain.
Ice-Cream Koan: There's an old Chinese proverb which states: "It is no easier for a blind man to see the pigs of reality, than it is for an man with no arms to throw open the doors of perception." And from this, we learn that old Chinese people don't half talk a load of bollocks.
Although if you turn up late, you will be guaranteed to be worked in to his current and all future tangents.
Parodied on one of his shows (possibly Nobleism) when he started talking about his mate's plums and said it would be unfortunate if somebody stopped paying attention then turned their mind back to the anecdote, because knowing him it would end up being something like
"...AND HE WAS RIDING A GOLDEN DONKEY!"
An In-Universe example appears in Randomist when he talks about his experience half-watching Sky News while taking a telephone call. He looked up the television screen and saw the words "Turkey Talks" and "Hurdles Mainly Muslims". This was in fact referring to how Turkey wanted to join the EU, so they were having discussions, and one of the main issues about it joining was that it's a mainly Muslim country. Of course, Ross believed it was a talking turkey taking part in an odd athletics event.
Another In-Universe example is the tour manager testing the acoustics in a theatre: "You're shouting "testicle" in a theatre"
Kids Are Cruel: Kids will tease bummed-face children and probably put it into some form of song.
"You've got a face like a bum, you've got a bum face."
Mix-and-Match Critters: The Rossbeast, pictured at the top of the page, which has four heads on thin, snake-like necks, a turtle's shell, crab's claws, an eagle's wings, several octopus-like tentacles, and dragon-like feet.
Naked People Are Funny: While telling an anecdote of when he and one of his crew were setting up a gig, with the only other person in the room being the elderly cleaner, an audience member randomly laughs. He then goes on to say how old people aren't inherently funny, unless they're naked. This leads into a tangent about a naked old man cleaning up by picking up candy wrappers with his sweaty bollocks.
Overly Long Gag: "Quick! This child is being bummed in the face!" "What?" "Bummed in the face! Help, this child is being bummed in the face!" "I can't understand a word you're saying!" "Bummed in the face!" "Bummed in the face you say?" This went on for about ten minutes.
Running Gag: Frequently, but only within each individual show.
A common gag is Ross' inability to finish a story once he's stared it without getting distracted by something else.
Sophisticated as Hell: In one show during his Mind Blender tour, he senses the room is split between high-brow academics and low-brow bogans. He attempts to please them both by making a joke about putting his cock in the large hadron collider.