Alex Edelman: Everything Handed to You
Another smart and funny hour from a rising star of US stand-up
This article is from 2015.
It would be a feat beyond almost all belief were Alex Edelman to match John Kearns’ landmark triumph of winning the main comedy award the year after scooping the Best Newcomer prize. But there won’t be many smarter and more accomplished hours of straight-down-the-line stand-up this August.
Everything Handed to You feels like a more personal show than last year’s gong-worthy Millennial, with his family getting a substantial airing. In particular, he chats about his twin brother (a professional bodybuilder who stares at himself in the mirror while working out so he can ‘look at a champion’) and their much younger sibling (the word ‘mistake’ crops up a couple of times). His material is so well-crafted and delivered that he can play the ‘American confused by British ways’ card as comfortably as the ‘American shamed by his compatriots’ behaviour on foreign soil’ suit.
So, his routines about Blue Peter, Greggs and a possibly racist incident in a members-only London club are astute while he seems to enjoy the imagined moment when the Hill sisters first pitched ‘Happy Birthday’ to record execs as much as the audience. While this talented Bostonian insists that life in New York has turned his soul mean, it’s clearly helped him produce stand-up comedy that’s a generous brew of funny and clever.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 8.30pm, £9–£12 (£8–£10.50).