Andy De La Tour
Lukewarm observations from alt-com trooper at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
There are just four years between comedy veterans Andy de la Tour and Alexei Sayle but their Fringe returns have proved to be a world apart. Last year, Sayle rolled back the years with a raucous set which had packed Stand crowds breathless with admiration, while de la Tour’s comeback is a much more solemn and laidback affair.
Early on, he gets the sad bit out of the way, recalling the last time he played Edinburgh, back in 1983 alongside alternative comedy whippersnappers Ben Elton and Rik Mayall. The recent death of Mayall has clearly hit de la Tour hard and he struggles with his emotions while imagining Rik looking down with disdain on his comedy buddy. De la Tour quit stand-up in 1990 to concentrate on acting and writing, but when the idea struck him 20 years later of reinventing himself as a stand-up in New York, he half-expected his partner to totally dismiss the idea. She didn’t and they jetted off there for three months.
As a spoken word event, this would make for a perfectly relaxed hour but as a Fringe stand-up show, it doesn’t really do the job. De la Tour’s observations about the US are wildly unoriginal (America has an obesity problem as well as a tendency to produce endlessly entertaining yet ultimately dangerous Christian fundamentalist right-wingers).
When he talks about creationists not being able to satisfactorily explain the lack of dinosaurs in the Bible, all you can hear is Bill Hicks’ superior material on the exact same subject. It’s with some relief that de la Tour then remarks that a New York comic pulled him up on that very fact. But it still makes you wonder why he left it in here. Andy de la Tour is warm company but in the white-hot heat of Fringe comedy, his set will leave you cold.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 25 Aug, 5pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50).