Gorman, Dave 1971-
GORMAN, Dave 1971-
PERSONAL: Born March 2, 1971, in Stafford, England.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Avalon, 4A Exmoor St., London W10 6BD, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Entertainer and writer. Stand-up comedian, 1990–; has performed at comedy festivals in Edinburgh, Scotland; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Aspen, Colorado; and Montreal, Quebec, Canada; has toured with comedy shows throughout Britain, New Zealand, and Norway; performed off-Broadway and at Sydney Opera House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Producer of television series Jenny Eclair Squats, 1997, Jenny Eclair's Private Function, 1999, The Dave Gorman Collection, 2001, and Important Astrology Experiment, 2002. Appeared (as John, the postman) in film 24-Hour Party People, 2002.
AWARDS, HONORS: British Association of Film and Television Artists Awards (with Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, and Henry Normal), 1996, 1997, for The Mrs. Merton Show; Best One-Person Show award, HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, 2001, for Are You Dave Gorman?, and 2004, for My Googlewhack Adventure; Chortle awards, 2004, for best full-length show and innovation.
(With Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, and Henry Normal) The Mrs. Merton Show (television series; aired 94–1997), published as Mrs. Merton's World of Television, 1997.
(With Danny Wallace) Are You Dave Gorman? (comedic travelogue), Ebury (London, England), 2001.
(With Danny Wallace; and actor) The Dave Gorman Collection (television series; also known as Are You Dave Gorman?), British Broadcasting Coorporation (BBC2), 2001.
(With Danny Wallace; and actor) Important Astrology Experiment (television series; also known as Dave Gorman's Important Astrology Experiment), BBC2, 2002.
Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure (comedic travelogue; recorded, 2004), Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 2004.
Author of comedy shows Reasons to Be Cheerful, beginning 1998, and Better World. Contributing writer on television series The Fast Show.
SIDELIGHTS: Dave Gorman began his career as a fairly traditional stand-up comedian, and a successful one at that. His show sold out at the Edinburgh comedy festival for five years in a row in the 1990s. Then, around 1998, he began moving into a very different type of comedy: themed television shows. His first such show, Reasons to Be Cheerful, teases apart the lyrics of the rock song of that title by Ian Drury. To prepare for the jokes he intended to tell, Gorman did extensive research on the various reasons to be cheerful listed in the song. "In early previews of … [the show] I would explain the lengths I'd gone to in order to research the different bits of material," Gorman explained on his home page. "These true stories got more laughs than the jokes I'd written and, perhaps stranger still, every time I took a joke out of the show, somehow the rest of it seemed to get funnier." Eventually the show became one long, entirely true story about Gorman's research. This all-factual format has since become the comic's signature style.
The inspiration for Gorman's third such "documentary comedy" show, Are You Dave Gorman?, came after one of Gorman's friends dared him to find and meet other people who shared his name. Thus motivated, Gorman traveled around the world to meet fifty-four other Dave Gormans. He took pictures of himself with each one, and these slides form the backdrop for his presentation about his quest. "It's a giddy voyage of obsession," David Sheward declared in Back Stage West, and one in which the audience becomes truly invested. As Jeanette Toomer commented in Back Stage, "a real indication of this comedian's winning touch is when the audience responds with a collective groan of disappointment upon learning that a Dave Gorman in Royal Leamington refuses to receive him."
For his next endeavor, Dave Gorman's Important Astrology Experiment, Gorman set out to determine if astrology actually works or not. For a period of forty days he looked at twenty different horoscopes and carefully carried out any specific instructions that the horoscopes gave him, while his twin brother did not. This project was funded by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which aired six half-hour shows in which Gorman detailed his experiments. Gorman went into making Important Astrology Experiment with at least a provisional faith in astrology; as he explained in a BBC Web site live chat, "I went to the BBC for an interview one day and my horoscope was so correct—that the experiment was inevitable."
Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure came about after Gorman signed a contract to write a novel. While he was still trying to figure out what to write, a stranger e-mailed him and told him that his home page contained a "googlewhack," a pair of words that, when entered into the online search engine Google, return only one hit. "Googlewhacking," or entering pairs of words into Google looking for googlewhacks, is an addictive method of procrastination, as Gorman soon discovered. Then he got the idea to spend the advance his publishers had given him for the still-nonexistent novel on traveling around the world meeting people whose home pages also contained googlewhacks. Gorman's stage show based on this project was a global hit: it sold out in Australia, and Back Stage West critic Jeff Favre declared it "possibly the funniest feelgood piece of theatre to grace Los Angeles in the last five years." Once Gorman had made enough money from the stage show to pay his publishers back for his advance, he turned the story into a well-received book. A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised "Gorman's gift for siphoning silliness from any cubbyhole"; the comic's "self-deprecating wit and irrational dedication to his quest make this a hilarious travelogue," John Green commented in Booklist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Back Stage, November 16, 2001, Jeanette Toomer, review of Are You Dave Gorman? (stage show), p. 33.
Back Stage West, December 13, 2001, David Sheward, "Treading Too Lightly: Flimsy Fare Is Being Given a Free Pass by Broadway Critics," p. 10; March 17, 2005, Jamie Painter Young, "Dave Gorman Brings Googlewhack! to L.A.," p. 4; March 31, 2005, Jeff Favre, review of Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure, p. 15.
Bookseller, October 3, 2003, "Googlewhacking May Not Yet Be in Your Vocabulary, but Writer and Comedian Dave Gorman Has Used the Internet Game (Whereby You Enter Two Random Words into the Google Search Engine in an Attempt to Get Only One Result from Your Search) to Guide His Travel Adventures," p. S4.
Computing Canada, July 9, 2004, "And They Say Quality Theatre Is Dead," p. 30.
Entertainment Weekly, September 17, 2004, Gilbert Cruz, "What the @#!∗ Is a Googlewhack?," p. 86; December 3, 2004, Scott Brown, review of Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure (stage show), p. 102.
Europe Intelligence Wire, November 2, 2002, William Cook, "Dave Gorman."
Hollywood Reporter, March 11, 2002, Cynthia Littleton, review of Are You Dave Gorman? (television series), p. 28.
Internet, June, 2004, Dave Wilby and Dave Kelsall, review of Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure, p. 44.
Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Mari Flynn, review of Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure, p. 175.
Publishers Weekly, July 26, 2004, review of Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure, p. 47.
Televisual, September, 2002, "Pisces Gorman Moves to BBC2," p. 11.
British Broadcasting Corporation Web site, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ (September 8, 2002), transcript of live chat with Gorman.
B3ta Web site, http://www.b3ta.com/ (June 15, 2005), interview with Gorman.
Canoe Online, http://jam.canoe.ca/ (June 15, 2005), Jim Slotek, review of Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure.
Chortle, http://www.chortle.co.uk/ (June 15, 2005), "Dave Gorman."
Dave Gorman Home Page, http://www.davegorman.com (June 15, 2005).
Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (June 19, 2005), "Dave Gorman."
NYtheatre.com, http://www.nytheatre.com/ (June 15, 2005), review of Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure.