Dan Antopolski (4 stars)

This article is from 2008

Dan Antopolski

Truth-seeking weirdly magical stuff

After three years break from the Fringe, Perrier nominee Dan Antopolski returns with more of his brainy brilliance. As a new dad, his daughters make up a large chunk of material, but his status as someone who now 'tries to get girls into their knickers' hasn't softened his edge. His white-man rap about children being wonderful (but babies being c-words) is hilarious and strangely heart-melting, while his reaction to modern-day 'nonce-vigilance' and post-baby sex-deprivation show off his clever mix of Mr Sensitive Cerebral and a cheeky, backwards boy.

He keeps the busy room hooked with a confident but relaxed delivery, although when somebody in the oven-hot venue has the cheek to nod off, Antopolski wakes them to ask: 'what are you? Breakfast?' (it's the most important meal of the day). He also enjoys a very convoluted, surreal flight of fantasy, where Spanish-accented worms stop to argue, and racist jokes spiral into lengthy court battles. A couple of these dark trips down the rabbit-hole don't work, which he clocks pretty much straight away and apologises for, but mostly they let us peek into the place where this innovative, truth-seeking, weirdly magical stuff all comes from.

Some of his wordplay brings to mind a more acidic and cocky Demetri Martin, (he is ever-so-slightly up himself at points but, after all, this is someone who was cast as Jesus in The Da Vinci Code, albeit just for a few seconds) but mostly he stands in a comedy spotlight all of his own. Satisfyingly unorthodox, intelligent and ridiculously playful. Thank heaven - with special thanks also to hell - for Dan Antopolski.

Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug (not 20), 8.50pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–?£9.50).

Dan Antopolski

The surreal stand-up casts his 'Penetrating Gaze' over the Fringe, to rib-tickling effect. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.