Garrett Millerick: Just Trying To Help | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Garrett Millerick: Just Trying To Help

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

With the booming energy of the most swivel-eyed fire-and-brimstone evangelist, Garrett Millerick preaches that we need to open our eyes to the truth that we are living in the Biblical end times, ravaged by plague, continents ablaze and war raging.

His apocalyptic vision may be at least partially tongue-in-cheek, but he is not a comedian who can ever be accused of underselling his material, with a performance of rare force and intensity that overpowers his audience.

The insistent delivery – which even he describes as ‘fat man shouts at you’ – turbocharges already strong material: smart, provocative, playful, wide-ranging and devastatingly funny. It’s a travesty that he’s not much better known outside the comedy cognoscenti.

Given the rage that burns so fiercely within him, there’s no little irony when he notes that ‘Britain is a very angry country’, tearing itself apart with futile culture wars fought in the trenches of Twitter. He’s not the first person to liken social media pile-ons to a street brawl, but his analogy is so perfectly vivid.

There’s a righteousness to his wrath, too, as the exaggerated observational routines come with astringent reminders of how the world really works, such Sri Lankan sweatshops, the exploitation of poor renters by middle-class baby boomers, the indentured servitude of the Uber driver who gets your drunken husk safely home and the impending climate catastrophe.

Like the ‘end is nigh’ preacher he seems to have styled himself on, Millerick points to society’s move away from religion for some of its ills. It’s not a popular opinion in comedy but entirely fits the stand-up’s fierce iconoclasm, mocking liberal virtue signalling, advancing unsayable ideas and making heroes of villains. Even when he mentions the Ukrainian war, he prefaces it with: ‘’I’ve got a different take on that..’

But Millerick is a trickster king. For all the conviction of his delivery, he doesn’t believe all – or possibly even any – of what he says; he just wants to wind people up. And he does it so well.

Ideas are spun to ridiculous extremes. Becoming the embodiment of spam email, for example, he launches into a gloriously elaborate parody about the ‘horny sluts in your postcode’. And that’s nothing compared to the conclusion he arrives at after singing the praises of Jeff Bezos for creating the magical delivery service that is Amazon.

The relentless intensity of the hour leaves Millerick physically drained and drenched in sweat leaning on the mic stand like a victorious but bloodied gladiator. He has gone to war against complacency and emerged triumphant, and we have revelled in his fight for our delighted entertainment.

Garrett Millerick: Just Trying to Help is on at Monkey Barrel Comedy Club at 6.25pm

Review date: 26 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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