I’m talking today about what a dangerous mix a really good brain, natural charisma and the ‘everyman’ quality are, but first a little context…
|BOCSTicketing.com.au - Davies back onstage in Aus in December|
I went along to Q.I. LIVE in Perth on Friday night—the first of a new format to bring this popular British television quiz show to the stage. I was five rows back, centre, and had an awesome up close view of the very talented Stephen Fry and his equally clever and permanent fixture Alan Davies.
Fry was predictably and brutally well-informed and witty and just so very charming on stage it was impossible to hate him for that. But the show started to flat-line from the moment Fry finished his witty one-man intro and a series of reasonably-known but pale-by-comparison Aussie comedians who didn’t add a whole lot of value to the show (and who probably should have watched QI before participating) joined the panel.
But… like a human defibrillator… Alan Davies then burst onto stage and jolted the show and the audience back to life and then kept them alive with three hours of top-effort theatrical CPR. Despite the early onset pneumonia he was suffering he manned up to the floundering effort from the Aussies and carried the contestants part of the show single-handed. He and Fry did what they do best – bounced off each other constantly for the next three hours.
I’ve not seen Davies perform live and I always wondered whether his sterling witt on QI was actually about good editing, but…no. The man is funny. And sharp in a pretending-not-to-be way. Really talented at improv (or at seamlessly delivering pre-loved material as though it were improv) and he has an intelligence that is somehow so much more accessible than Fry’s spooky, remote brilliance.
And he’s terminally, inexplicably hot.
I know..! I didn’t expect it either.
But it was.
Davies was inexplicably mesmerising. I seriously could not take my eyes off him. And neither could half the audience judging by our sycophantic giggles every time he did…well, anything really. The fact that he stole the show from someone as seasoned and knife-blade brilliant as Stephen Fry says a lot.
So…clearly ‘charisma’ is not just about sexual attraction. And attraction is not just about physical appearance or even physical contact (because Davies looked like the fashion equivalent of the stuff he was coughing up and none of us were close enough to paw him.)
Yet… something in him reached out and twisted around me and held me as thoroughly in his thrall as those vampires we love to read about and watch. And I didn’t shake my head free of it until half way home in the car.
It’s a strange kind of mix between a cognitive appreciation for his skill as a comedian and his low-key smarts, and visceral responsiveness to his crack-a-beer-with-the-front-row mateyness and his adorable self-deprecating tendencies.
The triple- (quadruple-) threat: intelligence, proficiency, accessibility, modesty.
Just like the best romantic heroes. He had me at ‘Hello Australia…’ And now I'm off to BOCS to grab a ticket to his next show.
Have you ever been captivated by someone’s charisma against all logic, sense and taste? What is ‘charismatic’ for you? What’s your personal triple-threat? Do you adore a man that can laugh at himself?