Kirshen has been making waves with his comedy both here and over the pond, so Wide Eyed is considered to be a pretty hot ticket this festival season. And, as one squeezes into the packed Underbelly venue, it is obvious that the audience is waiting with baited breath to see if he lives up to the hype that surrounds him.
Given that he is considered to be such a reliable laugh, Kirshen’s act was bitterly disappointing. Maybe this was not his night, but the common feeling was that, while there was a plethora of material, there was very little to really sink your teeth into. One can find the funny in most of the topics he touches on, be it Interflora, Air India or even the BNP, but the jokes always fall short of being laugh out loud funny. That is, of course, unless you were one of the Texans to my right who found EVERYTHING absolutely hilarious.
Here lies another problem. The minute he spotted the booming Texans he latched onto their praise like a narcissistic nit; apparently, you can take the Matt out of America, but not the America out of Matt.
The best moments were those where his wit shone through and his banter-full relationship with the audience brought out the smart improvisational comedy. His thoughts on the inadequacies of GCSE language courses and Michelle Bachmann were of the standard we were told to expect. If only everything else had been on the same level.
Matt Kirshen: Wide Eyed, Cowgate @ Underbelly, 4-28 Aug (not 15), 8.35 pm
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