Sam Kissajukian: Alcohol is Good For You
- Claire Sawers
- 22 August 2019
Tense atmosphere in a room that remains largely baffled
You know you're in for a treat when the comedian announces right at the start that he doesn't want to do the show, because it's too late in the Fringe and he wants his mum. 'You don't give a fuck either, right?' the dark-haired Australian asks the crowd, dejectedly. It's one minute in and the full room (people have been turned away) hasn't said a word yet, which is about to become a bigger problem. As well as projecting stuff onto his baffled gathering (he says he's getting 'passive aggressive' vibes and somehow deduces we want 'more jokes about books'), he relies too heavily on the crowd for material.
Chucking in questions like, 'who's been to New York?' or 'who smokes cigarettes?' then getting angry at the audience for not being responsive enough to his stand-offish stand-up style or wobbly bad punchlines makes for a tense atmosphere: a few smiling punters try shouting out answers encouragingly to undo the awkward vibes but that fails to get him going either. 'What do you want?' he pleads nervously, before standing in silence for a bit then climbing the scaffolding on the side of the stage and handing a toy flute to someone in the front row to play.
Maybe less obvious or misjudged stereotypes (Welsh shag sheep / Australian girls are shy and want babies / New Yorkers love therapy / Brits hate therapy etc) and more planned-out bits would help, but blaming the crowd from the kick-off doesn't help him get the room onside.
Laughing Horse @ The Lock Up, until 25 Aug, 5.30pm, donations at the venue.