Brendon Burns: Dumb White Guy
A non-preachy hardcore show about the problems inherent in discussing race
This article is from 2016.
Brendon Burns has always loved wrong-footing his audience. He pulled it off spectacularly in his Edinburgh Comedy Award winning show from 2007 and he does it again here in this hour about race, identity, and the word 'cunt'.
Some entertainers will bend over backwards in order to try and ingratiate themselves with a crowd either by calling them a great bunch of people, or praising the town they just so happen to be living in. Burns has never been that kind of comedian, so when he tells us that we are much better than last night's crowd, you better believe that our predecessors were clearly less than up for his brand of forthright stand-up.
Telling it like it is (or at least exactly the way he sees it) could have been branded on Burns forehead throughout his career, and here he lets rip on how rubbish white people are, kicking off with his intro music, Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start the Fire' aka 'the whitest song ever'. Admitting that he straddles the line of preachy vs edgy, he castigates the annual celebration of Australia Day, insists that he'd love to have been a black comedian ('but not a black guy'), and speculates on how tough it must be sometimes to be an actual racist.
Joining the dots and staring at the big picture left at the end of an hour has always been the great pleasure of watching Brendon Burns when he hits top form. And here the pay-off is well worth the often turbulent ride he takes you on.
Liquid Room Annexe, until 28 Aug, 6.15pm, free.