Comedy review: Jack Tucker: Comedy Stand-Up Hour Underbelly - Cowgate, Edinburgh

Jack Tucker: Comedy Stand-Up Hour, Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)
Jack Tucker: Comedy Stand-Up Hour, Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)
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An almighty car crash of a comic, Jack Tucker is an act you can’t take your eyes off, so mesmerising is his hack ineptitude and contradictory, bulletproof confidence in his greatness.

Jack Tucker: Comedy Stand-Up Hour Underbelly - Cowgate, Edinburgh * * * *

Firing out dumb platitudes on the most crass and clichéd subject matter, the alter-ego of clown comic Zach Zucker is an object of enduring fascination. A dishevelled mess strutting about like he’s a god amongst men, the New Yoiker checks with the audience to understand if they’ve caught the most universal of his reference points, celebrates wildly for the most rudimentary bit of banter and disappears into a massive fog of dry ice whenever he wants to bring the energy down for a serious bit.

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Beyond even his own ego though, Tucker is in a double-act with Zucker’s director Jonny Woolley on the mixing desk, responding to every leaden quip and self-aggrandising flourish with a cocked rifle or machine gun sound effect, or a blast of Lenny Kravitz’s American Woman to raise up his swagger. Indeed, it becomes like a game of tennis in their back and forth, with Tucker like a shambling marionette, sometimes driving the narrative, sometimes driven by it. What’s truly incredible is the intensity and stamina that Zucker brings to the performance, sustaining it for an hour no small feat at all. Endearingly too, for all Tucker’s bluster, spilt pints and condoms on the floor, his pathetic side is really brought out in his reminiscences about his wife and cack-handed interactions with his son. And for all that he’s dreadful, some of his routine mannerisms never cease to produce a guffaw, no matter how many times he leans on them, the desperate glint in his eye whenever he flashes his ring finger for instance.

A powerhouse performance, he’s truly telling it like it isn’t.

Until 25 August

Jay Richardson

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