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Dave Gorman: His Googlewhack Adventure

 article about Are you Dave Gorman
There's a certain type of person who only goes on holiday so they can
show you the slides when they get back. Dave Gorman is one of those
people.

Luckily he's not your boring uncle who just returned
from a guided boat tour of the Dudley canal system- h'es more like your
hilarious best friend who has just been to four continents to win a bet
(for no money) that he couldn't meet ten consecutively linked
Googlewhacks (see below), a challenge made him by another man from
France. Who also was called Dave Gorman.

For the uninitiated,
a Googlewhack occurs when two search terms are entered into Google,
yielding just a single result. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Believe it or not, a Googlewhack is a fairly unique thing. Gorman,
himself, was a Googlewhack because his website contained the words
"francophile" and "namesakes." Once someone informed him of this, he
decided to find another Googlewhack, and then inform them of their
Googlewhack status. After this, he got a bit obsessive and determined
to meet ten Googlewhacks in a row before his 32nd birthday.

Gormans
show is more than stand-up comedy. Its a unique two hour narrative,
complete with slides of everyone he meets, his plane tickets, his agent
(patiently waiting for the book Gormans supposed to be writing), his
new beard, and countless other illustrations plus helpful diagrams and
flow-charts to map his progress. Hilarious from first to last, Gorman
spins his yarn for maximum comic effect. Every word, every wry
observation, every gesture is comic timing honed to perfection. Even
the simple click that accompanies the change of slides is done for
laughs, and you cant help but be set along with him on this eccentric
journey.

Of course, its easy to claim hes just repeating the
formula of Are You Dave Gorman? About four years ago, he did a similar
one man show, recounting his attempts to find and meet 54 other people
named Dave Gorman (which is how he met the Dave Gorman from France).
His arguments that Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure is not a
cynically conceived sequel are a key element to the performance.

Approximately
midway through, in a well-timed change of pace, Gorman gets angry. He
argues vehemently and convincingly that this is all true, was all done
on impulse, and is not an attempt to recreate his earlier success. He
comes across like the retired criminal forced into one last job as he
explains the battle to resist his obsessive impulses: to grow up, grow
a beard, and write a novel. Fortunately, he lost that battle and was
compelled to take on another globe trotting quest. Gormans final
argument is that if he was any good at making things up, hed have
written that novel instead.

Its difficult to find comparative
touchstones. No one else comes to mind who has so perfectly mixed
narrative and comedy. You could say hes like a much funnier Bill Bryson
but hes so much funnier that the comparison fails. While it is a
travelogue of sorts, the focus is on the strange cast of characters,
rather than the foreign destinations. Chief amongst these strange
characters is Gorman himself. Much of the comedy comes from his deadly
serious determination to complete such a blatantly silly task; in fact,
the clash between the trivial nature of Googlewhacking and the gravitas
with which Gorman treats his task is the engine that drives the whole
show.

The setbacks, triumphs and resolutions form a tightly
plotted narrative. From the highs that only the kindness of strangers
can bring, to the lows of eating a Pot Noodle with a toothbrush, plus a
heartwarming dnouement that even the most shameless of Hollywood
screenwriters would hesitate to use-- all without taking his foot off
the comedy pedal. So the next time your uncle offers to show you the
slides of his canal tour, remind him that a man named Dave Gorman has
raised the bar for such things considerably, and unless he can match
Gormans performance, he should keep his slides in the box where they
belong.



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