There’s a semi-ironic whine that occasionally emanates from young, white, male and invariably straight, middle-class comedians that they have nothing to react against, that as the de facto inheritors of the Earth, they are deprived of a struggle, a cause for their identity.
Star rating: *****
Venue: Gilded Balloon at the Counting House (Venue 170)
Extending one of the more memorable musings of his accomplished 2015 show, Fin Taylor deliciously satirises this impulse by brilliantly exploring and exploding white privilege, making stark society’s usually invisible, default setting.
Tellingly, his show suggests similar lines of thought to Nish Kumar’s, about the insidious social cleansing of gentrification and twee hipsterism. However, Taylor can drive them to more ridiculous extremes without the same consequences, the white man stealing the Asian man’s thunder once again.
A baseball-capped vision of lilywhite entitlement, it’s not enough for him to be coolly academic, even if his hour is jammed with juicy cultural analysis and especially sagacious on subtle linguistic bigotry.
In his sweatbox venue, he toys with demagoguery, ironically whipping the crowd up into a rally when the opportunity presents itself, lampooning the recriminatory ugliness of a post-Brexit, pre-Trump presidency world.
Starting with the man in the mirror, to quote another racially fluid pontificator, he twists his liberal guilt and self-loathing, savaging conceited Lefties and petulant Remainers, disgusted by his girlfriend’s veganism, which he perceives as a first world problem in every sense. There’s a self-parodic, Swiftian wit in a routine about the taste of various humans and body parts, one of several entertaining, tangential moments that he successfully bolts to the main thrust of his diatribe.
Still, it’s not enough for him to politely tickle white people with their foibles, he has to violate them and sets out to find sacred cows to f***, arriving at a familiar figurehead for the face of ethical porn. Hilariously appropriating the stylings of the black, Def Jam school of comedy, he can’t actually racially offend the white majority in his crowd, we’re too secure in our status. Which only reinforces an abiding sense that racism needs to be palpably felt to be truly appreciated.