Neil Hamburger (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

Neil Hamburger

Gregg Turkington's monstrous creation is a true original at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Neil Hamburger could well be a once-in-a-lifetime comic. For sure, Gregg Turkington’s monstrous creation is a true original, a man who thinks he should be a showbiz legend but has been worn down by failure and his own self-loathing to the point where having clean hair and an unstained tuxedo are simply out of the question. It’s not so much what he spills down himself that counts, but what jets out of his mouth: a series of entertainment-based gags filled with bile and bitterness.

Gene Simmons, Eric Clapton and Dexys all get it firmly in the neck with jokes either relevant to their lives or so completely offbeam that they could have been replaced by someone else entirely. Yet, he also feels like an act that only really requires one visit for you to get it and then move on. The major difference here to his last visit in 2011 is the extended eulogising towards Whitney Houston at the finale which oddly withholds the seemingly inevitable barb.

Perhaps the fact that he would go so far out of his way to pay tribute to the late singer is simply amusing in itself. He even slips in a quiet word of sympathy about Robin Williams before scuttling off into the night, drinks still cupped under his arm, waiting to offload their contents over someone’s shoes.

Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug, 8.50pm, £10--£12 (£9--£11).

Neil Hamburger

  • 3 stars

Soho Theatre There’s no one quite like Neil Hamburger. And that’s probably for the best. Neil’s subversive, brilliant one-of-a-kind comedy has delighted, confused and repulsed audiences worldwide and now the long suffering cult icon finally returns to the UK. ‘A phlegm-filled sack of putrid self-loathing… truly…