Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Jena Friedman: American C***, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson
As YOU might expect from a producer on US television’s most famous satirical news source, The Daily Show, Jena Friedman’s material is wide-ranging, topical and button-pushing. But it’s also clearly still a work-in-progress, which you might ascertain even if she wasn’t still routinely checking her notes.
An abrasive, confrontational voice with some oblique angles on pressing issues, she’s sardonically, cruelly funny, yet this is a scattergun, ill-structured hour that showcases her material badly.
With knowing mischief, she suggests how tough it is living in New York, but refuses to check her privilege or treat supposed sacred cows with any reverence, supporting Caitlyn Jenner for all the wrong reasons and more than once evoking 9/11 as basis for playful but intellectually honest confessions.
At the liberal Fringe, where she’s free to revel in her blunt show title, the only routine that truly proves a stumbling block is the Jewish comic’s open support for Israel, the fault residing more in the presentation than the sentiments, which is too bad, because it sucks goodwill from the room, and subsequent excellent material on sex and politics don’t get the reception they should.
Regardless, she’ll be one to catch if she returns with a more polished hour.
The Stand Comedy Club 5 & 6 (Venue 319), run ended
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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