It’s Aussie comic Sam Taunton’s first time in Edinburgh and he’s desperate to be liked. In fact you’ll never see anyone wear their desperation on their sleeve so comically – or so blatantly.
Sam Taunton: It’s Nice, It’s Modern, Assembly George Square Studios – Four (Venue 17) * * * *
He is a nice-looking white male who has an unerring genius for perceiving himself as an underdog. His subject- matter is everyday, uncomplicated experience – going to the laundrette, getting lunch money at school, breaking up with a girlfriend.
There’s nothing political, nothing deep, nothing psychological. He’s not inviting anyone to feel sorry for him. He doesn’t want to be your friend. He’s just a bewildered man, floundering hopelessly.
His delivery is so natural that you forget you’re listening to a comic. You just get caught up in one ridiculous story after another. Laugh follows laugh – even well-worn subjects like putting on a duvet cover become part of a bigger, ridiculously funny story.
Although there are no particular themes or big ideas one story flows effortlessly into the next and there is callback after callback linking one bit of the narrative to another.
And he always chooses exactly the right word to create the funniest possible moment. At one point the woman next to me was gasping for breath and almost fell off her chair.
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He’s like one of those supremely talented jazz drummers who don’t appear to be moving at all until you close your eyes and realise they are playing five different rhythms at once.
I hope he doesn’t get overlooked because he’s not deep and difficult. He’s terrific and excellent at what he does.
In a city where so many people are taking comedy so seriously, Sam Taunton is a breath of fresh air.
Until 25 August. Today 7:40pm.