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Scott Capurro: Who Are The Jocks?

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

There are a few strands to Scott Capurro’s typically washpish 2011 Fringe offering. The death of his mother is the main theme, while a subplot revolves around a violent reaction his stubbornly tasteless material received at the Glee Club in Cardiff one night soon afterwards.

‘Who goes to a comedy club and gets offended?’ he muses incredulously, saying that anyone seeking stand-up should expect to hear the unpalatable. But for a shock comic like Capurro, who cracks wise about Madelaine McCann, desecrates Jesus and taps into racist and anti-Muslim sentiment for his jokes, the only thing worse than an audience getting offended is an audience not getting offended.

And that’s what happened on the admittedly under-attended opening night of Who Are The Jocks?, named not after the Scottish, but the words shouted by the Columbine killers before their spree, seeking the athletic types rather than the geeks.

Capurro’s acidic, brutally bad-taste one-liners got a few giggles as they shot out at relentless speed, such is the nature of his craftsmanship. To borrow the sort of analogy he might like to make, his jokes are like gas chambers; impressively efficient… but you might want to question exactly what they efficient at doing.

Yet the audience seemed wise to his shock-for-shock’s sake shtick, and rather passively indulged him as you might a show-off child; feigning enough of a reaction to show you see what he’s up do, but not enough to endorse, or condone, it. And that rather takes the sting out of his stated aim, to ‘chip away at your self-esteem’ for the terrible things you find yourself laughing at.

That’s an insightful way of looking at his objectives, typical of Capurro’s piercing analysis that he can apply to himself or the world at large, should he choose to do so. The complex relationship that he had with his mother, for example, is summed up in an almost offhand comment that compares it to dating; she’s had a bad time with some of her former partners so fills a gap with her gay son.

Oh, and if you didn’t know Capurro was gay – as if! – you sure will, as every male object of his disdain, he says he wants to fuck; and all the better if it’s a religious icon: Jesus, the Chinese, ‘retards’… they all have an allure from him in his boundary-trampling comments.

But they don’t sit quite so easily with the more thoughtful – if less obviously gaggy – moments prompted by his mother’s death; while the barrage of brutally needs to unremitting for maximum impact, but is diluted by the navel-gazing. On this preview (which was open to reviewers), this split between the two sides of his artistic personality is the one relationship he hasn’t yet sorted out.

Review date: 5 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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