Constrain your sides with the sturdiest of materials: Tim Key's monologue of a trampled-upon loser is the funniest thing on radio this fortnight, all bar none. And, for once, there's a happy ending.Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 30th December 2009
But the delivery is beyond funny - he has this high, girlish laugh that encapsulates surrender, self-pity, despair, craven hope, self-delusion, panic. Every blow of psychic pain that has ever beset mankind is in this laugh. From every one of 360 degrees, you want to stop and admire it. I wonder whether the writing is any good at all, so blinded am I by the terrible giggle.Zoe Williams, The Guardian, 18th May 2007
Radio 4 is funny (peculiar) because it trumpets its 6.30pm comedy slot, yet most of its funny (ha-ha) finds are elsewhere. For instance, All Bar Luke, scheduled at 11.15pm, is a sweet-natured little gem.
On Wednesday, Luke, played by writer Tim Key, was at a stag party, stone-cold sober. He was designated driver. This, you suspect, will prove to be a regular occurrence. You only hear Luke's voice, no one else's responses, and the joy of the programme is in the gradual realisation of the entire, awful situation. I don't want to spoil it for you, but poor Luke was subjected to a private lap dance. He offered the obliging lady a £10 book token.
I don't know if you accept them ... But it's Borders, he explained.
So you can get CDs too, or ... I don't know if you can get coffees with it .... You felt for him, you really did.
A kind of storytelling goes on at the bar and this was exploited with the kind of insight that makes you squirm, by former Perrier nominee Tim Key, in All Bar Luke, developed from his 2004 Edinburgh show.
His clever conceit was to make Luke's the only voice in a whirl of boozing and brawling, although you could have sworn you heard countless others. Key's theme was the power games and pathos of young males out drinking. The comedy was surprisingly poignant.Moira Petty, The Stage, 7th February 2006