Emmy Blotnick: Party Nights | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
review star review star review star review blank star review blank star

Emmy Blotnick: Party Nights

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

Party Nights is most definitely an ironic title. Emmy Blotnick cuts an awkwardly mild-mannered figure, adorkably endearing but very much exuding the delicate vibe of a quiet one who’s finally been given her chance to speak.

Her confidence is fragile, as if she’s got her shit together just enough for this gig thanks to the self-medication, self-help books and dubious vitamin supplements she talks about.

Many of the topics on her setlist are comedy staples: meditation gurus, affirmations, Instagram addiction or simply getting high. They’re easy to mock, although Blotnick’s nervously nerdy character packages them well, tied together by an underlying sense that people are capitalising on those insecurities.

Quirky anecdotes demonstrate her social clumsiness, such as interacting with her neighbour on a long flight. She occasionally punches outward, but even when mocking Salma Hayek’s weird performance on a talk show, she’s in awe of the actress’s confidence. 

This nerdy 31-year-old New Yorker draws on her Jewish background a bit. There are certainly flecks of the less creepy aspects of Woody Allen’s brittle persona in hers, and she justifies some of the material with the assertion that ‘complaining is part of my heritage’.

Unsurprisingly, given her vulnerabilities and lack of confidence in the real world, she has a self-deprecating tone, and these complaints are always so politely made.

The downside is that the material doesn't have much passion, nor the performance much of the dynamism which would command attention. Nor are there many stand-out jokes – perhaps surprisingly for someone who’s written for Stephen Colbert. 

The low-status stance makes her a charming, sympathetic figure and easy company – with a low-key attitude that’s easily defined, and reinforced by a few instances of friendly audience chat. But too much material passes by without  impact, making you more likely to remember her than her gags.

Review date: 11 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Underbelly Bristo Square

What do you think?

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.