Jamie Kilstein: Sober Song Rants and a Cat Story
Musical interludes keep the US comic’s passion burning
This article is from 2015.
Revamping your comedy self is generally seen as a positive step. When Bridget Christie left behind the personae of ancient monarchs or pesky insects in order to portray her modern social conscience, universal acclaim flooded in for the first time in her career. Similarly, Josie Long ditched much of the beloved whimsy to show off a tougher political edge with much success. Yet, when impassioned liberal-left US comic Jamie Kilstein was rumoured to be bringing his electric guitar along for the Fringe ride this year, murmurings of concern were heard among those who counted themselves as fans over here.
Rest assured, Kilstein’s positions and viewpoints haven’t altered one iota, it’s just that they’re now couched (or drowned out) by feedback and chords. For his part, he jokingly dubs this slight shift of form as evidence of a ‘midlife crisis’, but the targets are predictable enough: the NRA, Donald Trump (‘does he even know what a Mexican is?’) and misogynist catcallers while he keeps firmly onside with ‘the weirdoes’ and outsiders.
Arguably Kilstein gets more interesting when he veers towards the personal with a number about his preference for having cats over kids in his home. There’s a spoof country number which he claims will either get him killed or make him very rich and everyone from Michael Bay to George Zimmerman get it in the throat. Oh, and he’s really good at playing the guitar, by the way.
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