Matt Goldich: What If This Is The Best I Can Do? | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Matt Goldich: What If This Is The Best I Can Do?

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

By day, Matt Goldich is a writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers, the latest in a long series of TV gigs. However, with the industry in his native New York in the throes of a writers’ strike, he finds himself in Edinburgh doing his first international gigs.

He knows the perceived rule that you must do soul-baring vulnerability for a Fringe hour, but he would be the first to admit he failed.

In fact, he would be the first to admit many failings as self-deprecation is his thing. He opens by mentioning how boring his poster is, before going on to talk about struggling as a stand-up – running at a financial loss when contemporaries such as Amy Schumer and Aziz Ansari have gone on to stardom. He describes himself as a ‘failed comedian’ and recalls many a backhanded compliment: ’On stage, people have always told me, "Matt, you’re a great writer".

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These confessions are about as close to deep honesty as we get. We also learn he has two children, with a three-year-old daughter and a ‘creepy’ eight-year-old son, while his own parents were ‘horrible’. But there’s no self-analysis, these are just set-ups for taut anecdotes or dry one-liners. And ultimately, he’s happy with how things turned out. He’s a happy family man, making a living from writing comedy, there’s no angst or bitterness to get off his chest.

Whoever was behind that ‘great writer’ comment had a point. Goldich is entirely undynamic and chats conversationally but relatively flatly, a level of energy entirely in keeping with his often sardonic gags. Those jokes are original, hilarious occasionally, but even when not, they offer fresh angles. His unfussy delivery allows you to make a judgement entirely on the strength of writing, with no whistles and bells of performance.

Even that fits into his worldview of being happy with his lot, so don’t stress it. He knows the joke about the receipts from CVC pharmacies in the US won’t fly over here, but he’ll do it until he can be bothered to get a new UK reference.

What If This Is The Best I Can Do? is a reminder that an hour of straight jokes can be enough - maybe not a dizzying wow of a show, but a perfectly decent, funny hour. You might not remember the punchlines as much as you recall the life hack about checking a pineapple’s freshness, but you’ll have had a good time.

Review date: 16 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Gilded Balloon Teviot

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