Dan Antopolski: A Whim Away

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

After several years of playing with big, or just plain stupid, ideas, Fringe favourite Dan Antopolski this year says he's aiming for most straightforward stand-up set he can. "Lies and boasting, basically," is how he puts it.

And, for the first half-hour at least, you get some of the best material at the festival, a winning mixture of groanworthy music-hall puns with intellectual subjects, with the odd sick joke for garnish.

His forte is the delayed drop punchline, the sort of gag that takes you a beat or two to get, but feel happy that you were bright enough to figure it out. But if you don't want to put your mind to work and would you prefer the stupidity of, say, hearing a man read aloud in a series of mousy squeaks ­ then you're catered for, too.

So talented is he that he even manages a near-impossible feat: finding a good, new joke in Star Wars.

Antopolski can't completely resist the lure of the gimmick, even if his is the relatively inexpensive whiteboard, which he uses to deconstruct couple of schoolboy jokes with academic rigour, breaking down the logical axioms on which they are based or analysing the eroded vowel pronunciation that allows a pun to work.

This ridiculous over-examination though very funny in itself, is the turning point of the hour that then descends into the self-indulgence that often dogs Antopolski's full-length shows once his won the audience's trust.

Thus we get a long ramble about split personalities that ventures nowhere near a punchline, and a similarly waffly segment about his girlfriend's pregnancy that may or may not be "lies and boasting".

The show neatly ties up at the end, but it does feel as if Antopolski has again scuppered his own chances to have a fantastic Edinburgh show, settling instead to have a good one.

Review date: 1 Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.