Disclaiming that prior to a guilt-trip inducing encounter with Bridget Christie, this was meant to be simply an hour of “stupid jokes,” Alex Edelman would usually only venture into political comedy to assess recent US presidents for sexiness, Barack Obama having prompted something of a sexuality rethink.
Alex Edelman: Just For Us, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) ****
But a Radio 4 broadcast of one of his old shows brought a number of anti-Semitic trolls his way on Twitter. This became considerable admin for the Bostonian Jew, whom you could describe as crafty in his response if it didn’t feed into the slurs.
Edelman, as he reveals with recourse to his Israeli Olympian twin brother and exceptionally long birth name, is pretty Jewish, growing up feeling white but not too white in multicultural, mixed-up America.
So when his Twitter feed opportunistically offered him a chance to attend a Nazi meeting, he went along out of curiosity, intrigued to see if he could pass unchallenged among the enemy. What follows is a compelling portrait of the mob racist mind, humour abundant in all its confusion and contradiction.
Equally though, there are some intriguing questions about white privilege as the comic explores his motivations for risking his safety, not to mention the malleable, people-pleasing instincts that see him contribute to the meeting’s discussions.
Despite some pretty rampant insecurities, he’s always had a can-do attitude, which he illustrates with his encounter with Prince William at the Baftas, momentarily forgetting his place to quip-worthy account. Painfully self-aware, with an acute observational wit that dredges beneath the surface of most cultural analysis, Edelman’s gag rate is impressive, ensuring another really strong hour from the American.
• Until 26 August, 8pm