Monday, 17 September 2007

Peter Kay: The Sound of Laughter - Book Review

When comedian Peter Kay heard that someone was writing a biography about him, he thought that he’d beat them to it and write it himself. After all, who knows Peter Kay better than the man himself? Well, perhaps his mum.
Peter Kay is without a doubt Britain’s top stand-up comedian at the moment, with a knack of storytelling that very few of his modern contemporaries have (with perhaps the exception of his some-time writing partner Dave Spikey). Peter has a sense of warmth and welcoming which just draws you into his act, and it’s a skill he uses to good effect with this book.
From the proverbial humble beginnings, Peter tells the story of his family, his education at the hands of some very strict nuns, through his years working a number of jobs, trying to find his niche in the world. Some of his stories from these years are exceptionally funny, and most of them have found their way into his act. However, it doesn’t make them any the less humorous when they’re in print form.
Peter continues his story into the formative years of his stand-up career, which including actually finding a university that did a course in stand-up comedy. Mind you, this isn’t really much of a surprise considering there’s one university doing a course on the life of David Beckham! Anyway, Peter talks in depth about this, and how nervous he felt during his first few gigs, up until winning the North-West Comedian of the Year in 1996.
And it’s around this time that the story ends, which is something of a let-down. Although this book is well written, there’s absolutely no mention of his forays into television, with his hit television series That Peter Kay Thing or Phoenix Nights, and no mention of his sell-out Mum Wants A Bungalow tour. While the course of his life up until he found fame certainly makes for great reading, it would have been great to read about his life after he found fame.
But nevertheless, The Sound of Laughter is a great read, and hopefully Peter will write a second volume someday.