by Barrie Morgan
"New York based duo Chris O'Neill and Paul Valenti arrived at the Fringe to little fanfare. However, if they maintain the quality and professionalism of their show throughout their run they're bound to leave in a blaze of accolades.
Fundamentally a sketch show with its origins in vaudeville, the pairing offer up a unique show of interesting and surprising skits that are both intelligent and hilarious. The show starts slowly but the audience instantly warm to the two Americans. Their comedic dynamic is spot on, and it shows.
The element of surprise, along with the top-class comedic acting on display, ensures each sketch evokes the desired emotions throughout. Even the audience participation was endearing as it welcomed rather than alienated. The hour itself flew by and left the modest crowd instantly wanting more.
A brilliantly thought out and expertly performed little gem. A must-see and one of the greatest sketch shows I've ever seen."
by Steve Bennett
“This year the first criterion was definitely fulfilled with The Chris & Paul Show, as a genuine new discovery was thrust unexpectedly into the Edinburgh Comedy Awards limelight. Yesterday’s surprise announcement clearly caught the industry on the hop, as the audience for the first show after the nomination was announced was half-human, half-notebook as critics, myself included, rushed to play catch-up.
And after watching gifted New Yorkers Chris O'Neill and Paul Valenti, who describe themselves as modern vaudevillians, the ‘why’ question is firmly answered, too. They are sharp physical performers – reminiscent of the best silent comedy stars – with a keen sense of melodrama, surprise and the absurd, often all at once....”
by Jon Stapley
“Sketch comedy duo Chris O’Niell and Paul Valenti started last night with a bit of a mountain to climb. A slightly disgruntled audience were shepherded into the Fancy Room at the Caves for a ten-minutes-late start. The air was a little tense and there was a sense that the pair would have to work hard to win over this particular crowd. Fortunately, moments after they shyly stepped out from behind their backdrop, it became clear that Chris and Paul’s unique brand of irreverent sketches and physical humour was a winner. The result was a very different, very funny hour of comedy that quickly won the audience’s affections and left everyone with big grins on their faces....”
“The simplistic title echoes the minimalist approach here to sketch comedy. Relying more on character and talent than their more erudite contemporaries, these two guys are possibly the cuddliest New Yorkers ever to be exported over here.
Unsophisticated scenarios are played out beautifully and with such immersion in their childlike roles that at times it is easy to forget these are adults. At various points sinister little peaks into their dark psyches show that these guys are very clever and witty. They delight in bringing members of the audience not just up on stage but into the roles of co-conspirators and playmates. This feels like a TED video about childlike-play in adult men....