However, confidence will only get you so far on a Fringe stage.
He had many fans in the audience which helped him out a lot. This aged the crowd to closer to his shows demographic. This is something I noticed as I looked down on the bulk of the audience as I sat on a balcony with a railing so high I had to either crane over it or see O'Connell or crouch under it to watch him through a metal mesh.
From entering to a furore of applause the show launched into a mishmash of jokes which, although funny, have stood the test of time but were lacking in originality. I imagine his attempt to go from the studio to the stage was a very studied one. It was as if he was trying too hard to be funny. He presented himself like a DJ, not a comedian. He was confident and delivered his jokes and anecdotes with the full assurance that he would get a reaction. Even through his roaming around the stage and what he was wearing he looked like he knew what he was doing and he'd be liked for it.
There is always a list of three things per year, events or people, which dominate the comedy at the Fringe. This year, they were:
3. Scottish independence (or the lack thereof)
2. The General Election/Tory scepticism – if they were really on the ball, they'd address the Labour leadership
1. Jimmy Saville and Operation Yewtree
Most comedians don't bother addressing all three and this is a good idea because it runs the risk of running out of space for original gags. O'Connell played it safe in this regard but he addressed Saville-gate in abundance. The laughs were more automatic than original.
Any great laughs were derived from the tweets he receives as a result of his quasi-celebrity. Something that didn't come from him but from his public, really. Twitter accounts of celebrities are breeding grounds for hilarity.
A mammoth effort. His routine rolls out as if he's been an apprentice of comedy legends – studying their ways and how to be the best. Alas, it requires some individuality and complexity.
Catch Christian O'Connell: You've Ruined My Morning...And Other Fan Mail at the Gilded Balloon until 29 August - https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/christian-o-connell-you-ve-ruined-my-morning-and-other-fan-mail