Dot Con is a topical, fast-paced and witty comedy show about scamming the scammers
Email spam is still a big business. In 2013, 60% of emails sent were either spam or scam, resulting in innocent people being relieved of around $6 billion of their hard earned cash. So one bold, brave and bored comedian decided to do something about it.
For the past four years, James Veitch has been responding to as many scam emails as he can, from unclaimed insurance bonds to close friends marooned in a foreign country. Veitch pretends to offer help and money but only if the recipient gives something in return. The result is a series of surprising, bizarre and hilarious replies that demonstrate the straight-up ridiculousness of some of the scams.
The 75-minute show is split into two parts and combines traditional stand-up comedy with interactive projections, music and video. The first half of the show focuses on scamming the scammers with Veitch entertaining the audience with his hilarious on screen responses and wicked sense of humour. A daft but brilliant attempt to get a free toaster for opening an “account” gets the biggest laughs with Veitch taking his response one step further by adding in a photoshopped image and a preposterous backstory. Veitch clearly has a skill for story-telling and his mischievous, nerdy and common-sense incredulity is similar in style to fellow comedian Dave Gorman.
The second half of the show bizarrely veers away from the subject of scamming with Veitch sharing his opinions on dating, Alicia Silverstone and the birth of Internet. While the content is funny, Veitch jumps from subject to subject without rhyme or reason so the section feels completely out of sync with the rest of the show. A few of the jokes also fall flat, including an over-extended sketch on Meals for Two, which is initially funny but runs on for longer than necessary.
That said, there are some amusing running jokes throughout the show and a clever twist at the end sees Veitch turning the tables on the scammers as he attempts to scam them back in a clever and hilarious bluff.
If you’re a fan of interactive comedy, you’re sure to enjoy James Veitch’s Dot Con: The Art of Scamming a Scammer. A topical, fast-paced and quirky show that is both witty and relatable.
Reviewed on 12 June 2016