Comedy review: America Stands Up, Glasgow

At The Stand in Glasgow. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
At The Stand in Glasgow. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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It was standing room only for America Stands Up, the Glasgow Comedy Festival’s date with a trio of upcoming New York-based comics, helpfully programmed in ascending order of funniness.

America Stands Up | The Stand, Glasgow | Rating ***

Marlena Rodriguez was bold enough to get awkward, with her pauses timed to allow proceedings to become sufficiently uncomfortable. She made frank work of singledom and orifices, but her more involved deconstruction of Disney’s Aladdin and a skit on ten-pin bowling fell a little flat.

Sean Patton is a self-styled purveyor of “unnecessarily long bits” involving shaggy dogs and shaggy dog stories. Fortunately, his longest bit, a leisurely retelling of a particular encounter from his teenage weed-smoking days with a cherry-on-top punchline, proved a winner with the audience.

Dave Hill was weird and I liked it. With his original tics and singular dorky dandy style – think member of The Moody Blues circa 1967 – he walked the line between endearing and unsettling, revealing himself to be something of an immoral philosopher as he rounded off his set with recitations of remarkably succinct erotic short stories.

The whole evening was deliciously compered by the merciless but charming Scott Capurro, for whom it is never too soon or too late to tackle some thorny or sensitive subject. His uproariously outrageous gags, with killer pay-off lines casually presented like a bonus side order, were rewarded with cathartic laughter, rather than sharp intakes of breath or rumbles of discontent.