Saturday, 10 March 2012



“Some people are more comfortable with that these days.”

For those who don’t know, that is the opening two lines and picture gag (although I have updated the phone screen) of "Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure"; probably the most played DVD that I own. I decided this week to write a DVD/Book review, but rather than write about something new and in the public eye, instead do it on something special and that I hope to introduce to people who have missed out on it so far.

It was late 2004 and Tara and I were in the entertainment isle of Tesco and saw this DVD sitting in the new releases section. For some reason I knew the name Dave Gorman, and I knew he had something to do with a search for other people also named Dave Gorman. I don’t think I had see any of the TV shows concerning the quest (The Dave Gorman Collection), nor do I think I saw his appearance on the Big Breakfast or other shows; but this piece of knowledge had entered my brain at some time somehow. So thinking that this DVD was about that, I picked it up. I was wrong, while the topic does come up in the show; this is nothing to do with either The Dave Gorman Collection (TV) or Are You Dave Gorman (book).

However, while wrong, I was far from disappointed. We watched the DVD alone, we watched it with friends and family, we gave it as gifts, we took it to America to show family over there, we took it on holidays; Googlewhack Adventure became and still is the default DVD to put on in bed when there is nothing on TV. It’s like when you go to the same restaurant and order the same dish every time; you know you will thoroughly enjoy it and it makes you happy no matter how many times you have it; we put this on knowing we will be entertained despite knowing it near word for word.

You can probably guess by now, that I like (love) this DVD and have also read the book several times too; so you won’t be hearing a lot of negatives in this “review”. There are two USPs which separate a lot of Dave Gorman’s shows and books from other comedians work. Firstly they often involve a true story of adventure or life (which you just hope are true; and I believe them to be) and thus are a rollercoaster of ups and downs, fun and sometimes sadness; you feel invested in the story as much as enjoy the laughs and presentation of it. Secondly, Dave does like a PowerPoint presentation (don’t we all?) and uses it to help tell the story with pictures, evidence, graphs and visual gags.

This is an ugly, little piece of shit. It sits on my desk at work.

As for Googlewhack Adventure itself, the premise of the story is thusly; and I am going to try and do this without giving away too much of the story or any of the points of hilarity. While working on a project, Dave is emailed declaring him to be “a Googlewhack”. Not knowing what a Googlewhack is, Dave finds out and as he says himself “if you’re sitting at a computer when you find out what a Googlewhack is, and you don’t try and find one for yourself; well, you’re not bloody human”; which is completely true because within days of watching this DVD, I had found and registered several.

For those reading this who do not know what a Googlewhack is; I shall explain. Go to Google (I’m going to presume everyone knows what that is) and put in two words. Most likely you are going to get pages and pages of results for your two words; these are all the pages that contain both of them. However, if your two words (conforming to the rules) bring back one result only, then that is a Googlewhack.

So back to the premise. Dave finds his Googlewhack, and just like he was told via email, he lets the owner of that website (Marcus) know and a friendship ensues including a visit to Dave’s flat where Marcus finds a Googlewhack of his own. This is where the story takes the major turn, because the owner of Marcus’ Googlewhack turns out, against all odds, to be someone that Dave knows (also named David). On informing David of this fact, David’s response is to declare himself No.2 on a chain of Googlewhacks and bets Dave he can’t meet 10 in a row with each link in the chain only able to find him 2 more link possibilities before his 32nd birthday.

While he resists at first, the Adventure does eventually begins and Dave ends up on a worldwide adventure to find his chain of 10 and win the bet.

I’m not going to give any more of the story than that; I do not want to ruin any of it. In what I have written already, I have been very careful so as not to give away several of the funniest moments of the show. There are twists and turns, highs and lows, hilarity and despair; all told amazingly by Dave who has an amazing stage presence  and theatricalness to his delivery. But while the quest for Googlewhacks is the driver of the story, it is the people Dave meets along the way that make this such an amazing story. Real people are often “different” and meeting random people around the world leads Dave into situations involving alcohol, religion, sexuality, body art, possible beastiality, mental breakdown, Disney fans and running the border for coke (you need to read the book for that last one alone).

I do, however, have one niggling thought about something that happens in the story which I figured I would put out there to see if anyone else has thought this too. Near the end of the show, Dave challenges the audience that the story is real and has not been made up; and I believe him. However, as already explained, the pivotal point of the story is when Marcus finds his Googlewhack and it turns out to be David, whom Dave already knows. This is labelled in the show as being “The Most Amazing Coincidence EVER!!”, but is it? A little earlier in the show, Marcus expresses his doubts in the chances of finding a Googlewhack to which Dave answered that “maybe every page contains a Googlewhack, you don’t know until you look”; and I wonder if this is what Marcus did, reverse whacked. My theory is that Dave had David’s website bookmarked and that Marcus just went through saved pages looking for two unrelated complex words and then tried them out to see if they were indeed a whack until he found one in “Unconstructive Superegos”. Thus rather than being a one in three billion chance taking another one in three billion chance and landing in the realm of the known, statistically unlikely; it became not only likely, but almost a prerequisite as long as Dave recognised the pages he had bookmarked; and thus absolutely no coincidence at all. As I said, this is just a theory, it may have indeed been the most amazing coincidence EVER!, but this just seems a little more likely. Do I care if that Googlewhack was indeed a reverse whacked? Not in the slightest.

Honestly, if you haven’t seen this, you should; you are missing out on a couple of hours of pure entertainment. I give it the full 11 thumbs up!!

For those who have seen and enjoyed the DVD, I really recommend that you read the book as well; it has so much more story in it, especially fleshing out the middle of the adventure which is rather glossed over in the live show.

I would also recommend you check out the rest of Dave’s work starting back at “The Dave Gorman Collection” DVD and “Are You Dave Gorman” the book. Again, very funny and both very different from each other despite being about the same adventure of trying to find 54 Dave Gormans (one for every card in a deck….including the jokers). The reason for this is that while the DVD is a one man show with vide clips, it was a two man adventure and the book is written from both Dave and Danny Wallace’s viewpoints, thus adding an extra layer. This is also a good launch point if you want to read Danny’s other adventure books such as Join Me, Yes Man and Friends Like These.

Dave’s work after Googlewhack includes “America Unchained” which is again either a book or DVD; although in this case the DVD is a documentary journey rather than a stand up, where Dave tries to go Coast to Coast USA without giving any money to “Corporate” America. And more recently “Dave Gorman Vs The World” which is a really fun read as Dave asks his Twitter followers if anyone wants a game of anything. Dave also has a slightly more normal stand up show available on DVD called "Stand Up" and is currently touring his PowerPoint Presentation which is the most I have laughed in a long time (being Jewish makes a certain part of it even funnier). For the completists out there, you will need to be a little more resourceful to get your hands on a the TV show “Dave Gorman’s Important Astrology Experiment” as they still haven’t released it on DVD.

And of course, there is the Dave Gorman Absolute Radio Show and Podcast which I wrote about a few weeks ago on my podcast blog. This show is not to be missed.

You can check out everything Dave Gorman has done and get more info at

So with that all said, it’s time to shave this off and return to my childish ways.

Speak Soon :)

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