Langston Kerman: The Loose Cannon | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
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Langston Kerman: The Loose Cannon

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

At the arse end of a long festival, Langston Kerman declares himself depressed that his audience is barely tipping into double figures. He surely travelled from America to make a splash, not to mark out time until the blessed relief of the Fringe’s end. 

He returns to this unwelcome truth a few times over the hour, when having to shrug off our failure to give him the response experience in better-attended rooms has taught him to expect. However, it’s also a mark of his professionalism that he can put the sad reality of this gig to the back of his mind and deliver the routines with aplomb.

He performs with conviction and animation and well-judged gestures to underline his point (including resting his face on his balled hand to indicate pensiveness, a pose Canadian comedian Jeremy Hotz has made his trademark).

Kerman doesn’t instantly endear, coming across as arrogant when he questions the idea that his girlfriend is the best thing ever to have happened to him. But it transpires the main issue isn’t the veracity of the statement - she’s smarter, richer and more compassionate, than him - but the fact it’s her who’s saying it.

In a daring comparison, he suggests she is harder to live with than a former roommate – and he was a sex offender. Kerman loves to toy with moral certainties like this, justifying provocative statements, catfishing the audience into agreeing with the unexpected. It’s material that plays with nuance, getting laughs from both an outlandish position, and then from showing his working-out.

The same ambiguities are used when he considers the possibility that his baby could be while, since both he and his fiancée are mixed-race, that is a genetic possibility. The notion that his child could have white privilege is inherently funny, and he makes wry jokes to draw that out – as well as hilariously referencing examples of ‘white behaviour’ you might be unaware of.

Kerman also considers his partner’s contradictory demands that he be both a practical, tough alpha-male, and a more mild-mannered new man, the impossible combination producing amusing mental images.

He certainly deserves a bigger audience than this, even though not every routine is a winner. Bizarrely, the biggest offender was his closing reverie. Imagining a future with a McDonald’s employee who slipped him a couple of extra McNuggets is a long-winded and unconvincing flight of fantasy which is out of character for this engaging comic.

Given the poor attendance, Kerman probably won't be rushing back to Edinburgh. But if he does, he’s worth a detour.

Review date: 26 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Underbelly Bristo Square

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