A rare ability to combine wit, warmth and wisdom has not stopped comedian Marcus Brigstocke from gnashing his teeth and railing against the system.
He's acutely satirical. He once described David Blaine as a 'git wizard'.
But even with current affairs leaving him less than impressed, Brigstocke's new show manages to be about gratitude.
The comedian - who kick-started his career by winning the BBC New Comedian Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1996 - said inspiration for Why the Long Face came while recovering from a personal low.
"I’d had a messy break-up, and the show came about when I began to feel better," he said.
"Being a comedian is a great job. My kids are happy and healthy. I own a house, for Christ’s sake. I’m blissfully happy in a new relationship.
"I’m a straight white man – life doesn’t get much better than that. Everything is set up for me to be comfortable – very much at the cost of everyone else. So I’m enormously grateful to women, gay people and people from ethnic minorities.
"I’m very cautious about claiming that I can provide moral lessons or teach people anything.
"All I would say is that this show actively encourages people to remember the things for which we should all be grateful. As hard as some people’s lives are, there is still a huge amount to be grateful for."
Why the Long Face - which comes to the Courtyard in Hereford this month - will touch on Trump and Putin, on Islamic State, and corporate tax dodgers.
Critics have called it 'dazzling, inspired, perfectly observed... rare is the stand-up show that makes you laugh, think and then fight back the tears'.
It's on tour following a hugely successful run at the Edinburgh Fridge, aka it's already received a priceless stamp of approval.
Alongside Brexit and austerity, another notable aspect of the show is Brigstocke's rolling addition of new material based on that day's headlines.
"I’m writing new material for the show all the time, reflecting what’s happening," said Brigstocke, a comic whose regular appearances on Have I Got News For You, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, The Now Show and Just A Minute suggest someone hardwired to consume news.
"It’s fun for me and the audience to hear stuff that responds to the day’s news.
"The only problem is that my desire to know what’s going on is being offset by my need to maintain a decent mental state."
Why the Long Face is at the Courtyard in Hereford on November 28.
Tickets (£18) from the Courtyard box office on 01432 340555 or online here.
Alternative tour details can be found here.
For more live comedy shows in Herefordshire, check out our What's On guide.