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Eddie Pepitone's Bloodbath
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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Eddie Pepitone's Bloodbath
Eddie Pepitone is an Apocalyptic-American (with a conscience) and a master of the dark art of stand-up comedy. Hailed as Don Rickles meets Eckhart Tolle, the Bitter Buddha is a force of nature onstage, switching between social rage and self-doubt.
Eddie Pepitone's Bloodbath: Fringe 2012
Pugnacious American Eddie Pepitone’s relationship to his audience is very much like a tramp’s relationship to pigeons. He yells and hollers to them, apparently his only impotent outlet for the visceral rage and bitter frustrations he feels at the world’s wrongs.
Then, in a heartbeat, he has a moment of calm. The voice quietens and he reflects on what he’s doing with angst and self-doubt. And that only ultimately leads him to get all het up again about the miserable reality of his life.
For the punter, it’s the best of both worlds – the passionate rants of a big-issues comedian combined with the more inward-looking comedy of the smart, detached deconstructionalists. There’s something of his compatriot Andy Kindler in the way he frets about how his jokes, his show, and his whole career are going. At one point he coins the catchphrase: ‘Funny, no?’ which he amusingly admits shows a gargantuan lack of confidence in his own abilities.
This cocktail of anger and anxiety can only have come from one place: New York, and Pepitone has the air of a supporting Seinfeld character around which a whole episode might have revolved, thanks to his swirl of contradictions, all writ large. The passion of the delivery and the shambles of the performer certainly suit this late-night slot in the Tron’s slightly dingy cellar bar, for this is a dirty, visceral style of stand-up.
Peipitone tries to get out his set pieces, such as his impression of the lounge singer plagued with war flashbacks, but gets drawn into so many nested tangents it takes him a while to get back to the point. Easily distracted, he worries whether his references will translate to Scottish audiences, muses on the loneliness of life on the road, and confesses his need for validation by retweet. But even in these moments he cracks character again to reveal that even the self-doubt is exaggerated for the sake of comedy – and done so brilliantly.
There are a couple of tour-de-force ‘bits’ here: primarily his (failed) audition for washing powder, where he pleads in agonised tones for his wife to explain how she got his whites so white, when the whole world is heading for the scrapheap, and a signature piece demanded by one fan in the room, which involves positioning himself in the audience and heckling himself with a piercingly accurate assessment of the shitty state of his life.
Throwing out stand-up conventions while delivering pungent routines laced with misery: that’s what makes Pepitone a heartily recommended act this Fringe.
|Date of live review: Sunday 5th Aug, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
Davy Rev you owe me £8.
If you don't cry with laughter I'll give you your money back!