Al Lubel in... I'm Still Al Lubel (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Al Lubel

Law’s loss is comedy’s gain in this compelling Edinburgh Festival Fringe show

As the old joke has it: ‘Oedipus Schmoedipus: who cares so long as you love your mother!’ The only child of an overbearing maternal figure, Al Lubel battles his rage over the effect she’s had on him and says (many a true word spoken in jest and all), that ‘comedy, for me, is psychotherapy’. He says he became a lawyer to please his mother, and a comedian to please himself, which did not please her.

Passing the California Bar exam at the first attempt, he fought for the law but the law lost. Comedy won his attentions and he eventually ditched the day job, swapping a jury audience for a stand-up one. A loss to the legal and criminal world, perhaps, but a resounding victory for anyone catching his act.

Marrying Woody Allen-style neuroses (‘I’m afraid of everything’) with deadpan Steven Wright-style one-liners, topics like dating, health and mortality fan the flames of his anxiety and uncover new ground in well-trodden comic territory. He also attacks the deserving target of people using more words than they need to: guess that lawyer training really has worn off). This is a low-fi, high-laugh hour, beyond all reasonable doubt.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug, 10.30pm, £7.50–£10 (£6.50–£9).

Al Lubel in… I'm Still Al Lubel

  • 4 stars

Red 24 Management Bob Dylan said of his last album, Tempest, that he didn't make it for the public, he made it for himself. Well, similarly, Al didn't make I'm Still Al Lubel for the public, he made it for himself. He hopes he likes it. ‘Al has one of the best jokes I ever heard’ (Jerry Seinfeld). ‘Al is a terrifically…