Growing up on an estate just outside of Newcastle during the 80s and 90s, Kai Humphries used to be a self-proclaimed “wannabe gangster”. He thought he was a proper hardman, getting into fights, chasing girls and raising hell with his friends. Now, in his adult life, he has become the kind of man that his teenage self would shout abuse at on the street, the kind of man who has a little fluffy dog and watches musicals. So now he is having to come to terms with this dramatic lifestyle change, and watching those two personalities fighting for dominance is an incredibly entertaining thing to witness.
‘Mischief!’ is the ideal name for his show, as he mainly speaks about the trouble he used to get into with his friends. His analysis of what it was like as a working-class teenager in the 90s is incredibly funny, and his general manner is so friendly and upbeat that you realise how dramatic this lifestyle change must have been. Even when he tries to test the waters with a joke that feels a bit out there, it does not feel rude, it feels mischievous. The word “mischief” sums him up perfectly, he’s doing some slightly bad things in a charming way, and that gets you on board.
While his stories are probably similar to just about everyone who grew up under similar circumstances, the way in which Kai Humphries is able to laugh at himself as he takes a look back sheds a whole new light on some of the embarrassing things the 90s teenagers were up to. Perhaps the reason he can look back and laugh is because of how he has grown as a person to be more kind-hearted and inclusive. Whilst he wants to leave a lot of his old personality behind, you can sometimes see it coming through in his humour. There are few people who want to admit to things in their youth that they are embarrassed by, Kai Humphries has not only done that, but he’s made a comedy show out of it, one that is very-well told and truly hilarious.
Kai Humphries: Mischief!, 18:45, The Stand, August 23-28