Mat & Faron
Men In Coats
Men With Bananas
Michael J Dolan
Michelle De Swarte
Mo The Comedian
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer
Matt Kirshen: Wide-eyed
For at least the second time this Fringe, Matt Kirshen is faced with a slightly rowdy drunken crowd. As he notes ‘you’re a strange one but nice’ unlike the last one where a exceptionally drunk guy ruined it for everyone. In comparison this lot are kittens. In fact one man who had to leave for a toilet break by crossing the front of the stage, brings Kirshen a can of lemonade as an apology.
Kirshen almost sounds a little disillusioned at first, a fringe veteran performing in another drippy cave and hiding behind a blackout curtain ‘like a shit Wizard of Oz’. But he soon hits his stride and where there are minor audience disruptions and distractions he's quick to rein it back in and get back on track.
Aptly enough, given the uncomfortable incident of the previous show, the theme of his latest work is embarrassment – having spent much of his life apparently cringing at pretty much everything he's done before.
Having had some success in the US after appearing on the comedy talent show Last Comic Standing, he’s spent more time over there and thus had ample opportunity to scrutinise the differences between the two cultures. Our differing reactions to embarrassment being one aspect, an emotion Kirshen feels Americans ‘own’ with style - as the Neil Diamond impersonator he encounters in a lift in Vegas bears out.
It's not just a compare and contrast exercise though, as there are some considered, insightful observations and smart gags. Rather than knocking Americans for their lack of a passport as many comedians do he offers the hypothesis that it's because the country's so big, ‘would you have a passport if you could get to St Petersburg on your library card?’
He treads slightly surreal territory when the mood takes him too, in a running joke featuring Jesus, Hitler and Nick Griffin, who for no real reason speak in a ‘bad African-American man’s accent’. Nor is he afraid to incorporate a touch of the controversial, of Jesus' crucifixion he quips, ‘We won that one… that’s right, I'm Jewish’ all with that gleeful, permanent grin of his.
Assured and thoroughly entertaining stuff.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 24th Aug, '11|
Review by Marissa Burgess
Matt Kirshen: Shorter Than Napoleon - Fringe 2009
Wednesday 19th Aug, '09-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
Show - Montreal 2008 - Wednesday 16th Jul, '08-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Wednesday 14th Mar, '07-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
He is fantastic and I think I have fallen in love with him. He is beautiful.
Very smug, no one found him as funny as he found himself. Also been using the same material for soooo long!
Terrible! you'd get better laughs out of a rock!
Saw him tonight and slightly spoilt by sychophantic laughter from one or two audience members/friends. Some good material but lacked the charisma to carry it off.
Absolutely woeful last night in Derby
Saw last night at charity gig. Was one of the best performers on the bill and handled the most bizarre heckle amazingly!
Saw him last night, and he was truly woeful. Not as funny or as clever as he clearly thinks he is, and quite smug with it. Cannot handle hecklers at all, and totally lost it when he was heckled. If Last Comic Standing is the Pop Idol of the comedy world, I think we've found our Gareth Gates.
Edinburgh Fringe 2003
Big Value Comedy Show (Late)
Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Stickmen: Year One
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Matt Kirshen: Have You Seen This Boy?
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Matt Kirshen: Keep Smiling, Matt. Just Keep Smiling
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Matt Kirshen: Shorter Than Napoleon
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Matt Kirshen: Wide Eyed
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