Brent Weinbach: Appealing to the Mainstream
Ingenious, inventive comedy from American funnyman at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
With so many acts these days trying to amuse audiences with techniques other than jokes and punchlines and whatnot, the notion of anti-comedy appears to have been watered down to mild drizzle. Brent Weinbach stirs it right back up again with an audacious hour which trickles along with a gleeful nonsense at its heart. The show title, Appealing to the Mainstream, is the biggest joke of the night, as the American appears to do his utmost to make his work chime with absolutely no one at all.
From behind the curtain, he announces that he’s about to take the stage in Glasgow and ends his hour by peering in the semi-dark round the door we are about to exit through. Weinbach insists that he’s being intimidating and not creepy. But be assured, it’s pretty creepy.
Some people, they say, have funny bones. Weinbach is blessed with a rich voice that can make just about imbue anything with wit. ‘Smooth jazz’ and ‘substitute teacher’ are just two phrases that shouldn’t sound funny but here, most assuredly are, while his recital of the Russian alphabet probably flirts with good taste; but chances are you’re laughing too hard at the absurdity of it all to let your brain get worked up enough to complain. Ingenious, inventive and mildly irritating, if they actually let Brent Weinbach back in the country, don’t dare miss out next time.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 25 Aug, 9.15pm, £10-£12 (£9-£11).