Something akin to Grand Master of the bits of the Fringe that aren’t ‘a capitalist mess’, as he styles it, a visit to Bob Slayer’s double-decker bus is a source of rejuvenation for your festival. Hearing the thoughts and comic ramblings of this behemoth is a soothing comic experience.
Slayer is a maverick that will not be pinned down to the constraints of a fully-formed show
Given his long-established connections, the show was something of a comedians’ hangout when I was in attendance, and Slayer was comfortable and relaxed enough to call out their own shows, and recount stories of them messing about in years gone by. It is more than enough to make you feel envious that you weren’t there too.
Almost all of the stories that Slayer recounts from his past have no obvious punchline, but the pleasure is in the journey and you quickly find yourself hoping that he gets waylaid. I’ve witnessed him before completely giving up on the second half of his show and it was, come to think of it, the funniest punchline I witnessed that year. You really have no idea what you are going to get from any show and there is undeniably a varying quality depending on his mood on that day. Slayer is a maverick that will not be pinned down to the constraints of a fully-formed show.
The stories that Slayer tells about being on observational duties for the sexual activity of his dad’s prize-winning Jersey Giant chickens, or having been on tour as a roadie for Snoop Dogg, are enjoyable. A lot of the show is given over to discussing the successes that he has had as part of the Fringe, and the ongoing exploitation of acts at the larger venues, which is a message that is on point. Slayer did recount his previous satisfaction at having received a one-star review, gifting the effective by-line — ‘Bob Slayer: A Star’ — but I am going to have to disappoint him in return for this solidly entertaining hour.