Eddie Pepitone: RIP America, It's Been Fun
Reclaiming the true art of stand-up
This article is from 2014.
It’s doesn’t feel like you’ve had the full Fringe experience until you’ve seen an overweight, bald man ranting at you. Here in Edinburgh, that could be on a stage or in Tesco. And in either place it could be Eddie Pepitone. The American is one of those stand-ups who persists in planing away against the grain, whose show you come away from feeling that more comics should be like that rather than chasing the TV deals.
Pepitone acts like a man who doesn’t care, and being a bit saggy and loose at the seams himself, looks like one too. Of course, he really does care and there’s a huge amount of passion here, with his hour at times feeling almost like a left-wing rally. Shaking his head in disbelief that most Americans are only a couple of paychecks away from homelessness on account of the harsh housing system, elsewhere he explores the surreal notion of product placement in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Some observations, such as how the minutiae of our lives becomes a bigger issue to us than world concerns, might not be the most groundbreaking, but Pepitone invests them with such performance and gusto that the truth of his statement feels more real: the cereal split under the fridge is almost more important than Gaza.
Despite being very much in control, there’s a lovely unhinged, flying-by-the-seat-of-his-pants quality to Pepitone. Indeed, in one extended section he imagines and plays out a scenario in which the mentally ill – in this case a man who has killed – publicly share their experiences at a major sporting event. It’s almost difficult to tell which is the ‘mad’ man and which is Eddie Pepitone. Dark, slightly unnerving and questioning. Just what stand-up should be.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 11), 9pm, £12--£14 (£10--£12).