Joe DeRosa: Zero Forward Progress (3 stars)

Death, anxiety and social media get this US comic all het up

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Joe DeRosa: Zero Forward Progress

Therapy has helped US comic Joe DeRosa overcome crippling anxiety. After coming on stage, he slips into a straight-back chair from which he sits intently, absorbing his audience. It's never made explicit but this is comedy as therapy, and DeRosa has much to get off his chest.

'I shit on myself for a bit and then I shit on other people,' he says. But perhaps he's already told his therapist all there is to say about himself as there's precious little biography here. He has a distinctly morbid fascination and he opens Zero Forward Progress by working through his feelings about death in general and suicide in particular, as well as the tortuous necessity of the funerals which inevitably follow. His infatuation with the macabre continues with some nice material on Jeffrey Dahmer before DeRosa sets his sights on what is really bothering him.

He decries Twitter as a strange privilege that society has yet to earn and he follows up with an interesting take on how dot communism has liberated internet pornography at the critical expense of feminism. Concluding with a nice routine about the hypocrisy with which celebrities are worshipped, DeRosa has a loose but controlled style of measured rage and his ability as a writer shines through.

Underbelly Cowgate, until 28 Aug (not 22), 9pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Joe DeRosa: Zero Forward Progress

  • 3 stars

Avalon Promotions Ltd US writer, actor and stand-up Joe DeRosa makes his highly anticipated UK debut. As seen on a host of hit shows including Better Call Saul, Louie, Inside Amy Schumer and Chelsea Lately. Don't miss this chance to catch Joe's trademark brand of brutal honesty and frustration at the workings of the…

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