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Dan Antopolski – Silent But Deadly - Fringe 2009

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Jay Richardson

If Dan Antopolski felt a little abashed at winning the prize for the funniest joke at the Fringe with his nifty one-liner about hedgehogs, he nevertheless slips amusingly awkward, avowed admiration for the award’s sponsors, TV channel Dave, into the wallchart routine in which he extrapolates a reviewer’s view of him as ‘edgy’ into a league table of Jim Jeffries, Michael McIntyre and various shapes of furniture.

As bewildered as he is about his fresh success and perceived edge, he frequently seems equally bemused by his own imagination and invention, such as the mechanism with which he hoiks his wallcharts into his grasp. The more memorable of these is a stunningly funny statistical survey of various body parts laughed off in the US and UK. Juvenile crudity with recourse to maths, biology and cultural relativism, yes. Edgy, no.

In fact, Antopolski employs virtually every type of comedy here except boundary-prodding offensiveness, his assured blend of geeky arrogance turning even the suggestion of wife-swapping into an oblique acknowledgement of the credit crunch. Deft one-liners follow daft but lyrically dense rapping; martial arts displays precede one of the freakiest visual takes on Obama-worship yet. Antopolski possesses considerable game and although he knows it, he’s learned to rein in his more self-indulgent tendencies for his audience’s benefit.

He’s also got children. While he’s not above trotting out a few ‘kids say the funniest things’ observations, the young Antopolskis are chips off the old block, their wide-eyed intelligence but lack of tact depositing their father in scenarios of acute social embarrassment. Still, they do make him more attractive to women.

There are occasional misfires, as in a recalled pub scuffle hinging on the word ‘decimation’ that requires rather too much framing, while his closing rap, dissing a guy whose mother works at McDonald’s is less impressive than the scene-by-scene rhymes of his seduction technique in the show’s middle.

All in all, a fine, multi-faceted show that probably deserved to win some kind of award or other.

Review date: 25 Aug 2009
Reviewed by: Jay Richardson

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