Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Kyle Kinane: Ghost Pizza Party, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson.
Kyle Kinane hasn’t been at the Fringe five minutes. Yet he’s already nailed the pitiable meanings of those goofy expressions sported on countless comedians’ posters plastered across the city. Of course, close scrutiny and intense criticism of comedy is characteristic of these censorious times. So citing recent controversies about Trevor Noah’s supposed anti-Semitism or Amy Schumer’s racism, the comic who labelled his last album I Liked His Old Stuff Better is pro-actively but humbly preparing for his own torches ‘n’ pitchforks backlash, affording full disclosure of his “personal atrocities”.
Including violence against an animal, narcotics misadventure and payment for sexual acts, there are extenuating circumstances each time. But only up to a point, and the American elicits deep, incredulous laughs with his pathetic degradation. Despite appearing emblematic of all sad, white bearded guys, he dismisses the emerging trend that considers depression sexy or even special, suggesting that the blues of life are its average frequency, prior to offering a counter-intuitive, casually indifferent but very funny suggestion of the optimum time to kill yourself.
A shiftless slob who’s proving his girlfriend’s devotion with his low-achieving, self-admiring indolence, contrarian is too active a label for Kinane’s laissez-faire philosophy. He can’t get too worried about cults like Scientology, so appreciative is he of their inherent ridiculousness. And in contrast with most Californians, he wants his food heavily processed rather than looking it in its squirming, slobbery eye.
At the early show I saw, a dialogue sequence on crab meat’s origins demanded some drastic editing but the potential for a memorable routine was there. A sublime storyteller who deserves considerably better than the awful sound bleed from his adjoining venue, Kinane is a born comedian who should be on every serious stand-up fan’s radar.
Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 13 August 2015
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