Sam Lake: Aspiring DILF | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Sam Lake: Aspiring DILF

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

What a glorious lunchtime hoot this show is, with never a dip nor laboured moment in an hour that rackets along.  Sam Lake has an enviable ability to verbally draw a character that recalls Victoria Wood, Patricia Routledge or Ronnie Corbett with first-class throwaway descriptions that stick in the mind.

The show is a rebuttal of the tabloid overreaction to ’toxic masculinity’, wilfully pretending that terms means anything manly is bad, not just the toxic stuff.

Lake is wanting to become more of a DILF, where the D is for ‘daddy’ not ‘dad’ - the latter is a parent and provider of crap jokes, the former has aplomb, control and competence and the sexiness of confident adulthood.  Daddy energy is much more attractive than dad energy.

Opening the show with a video montage of pretend examples of masculinity (he plays all the roles) was not strictly necessary, but it focused the crowd. He would have been fine without and wouldn’t have needed to share the stage with a big TV screen.

His chatty energy absolutely bosses the crowd from the word go. He did well not to be derailed by the ostentatious, attention-seeking laughter of another performer who whooped and hollered intolerably for the first ten minutes (man, am I going to find that show…)

Lake’s stories of a weedy childhood are humorous rather than pathetic (in the best sense) but the show absolutely soars with tales of office life and his boss, the redoubtable Claire. She also gives rise to the best ‘dad’ joke you’ll ever hear.   

He gives the audience a sense of a man at ease in his own skin, even while looking for self-improvement.  He has a 100mph delivery, high-speed chit-chat that makes you want to draw up a barstool and just gossip with him. He can interact without making the audience awkward or anxious.

There is something unusually modest and likeable about Lake.  Camp coming-of-age stories are a dime a dozen at this Fringe, but this is a clear winner, he proves you don’t have to be a tosser to be alpha; solid laughs with a background of kindness for an hour marks him out with great Daddy energy.

Let’s hope live comedy doesn’t lose him to TV too soon.

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Review date: 14 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
Reviewed at: Monkey Barrel Comedy Club

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