Too often, successful American comedians make their way to the UK assuming that audiences are as easy to please as they are back home. Many wrongly expect that our frames of reference will be exactly the same too. I’m glad to say that US comic, Chris Gethard has brought a show to Edinburgh that has near universal appeal.
Hilarious and moving, and a hour that many will really get a lot out of.
True, his story of a drunken night out, while entertaining, doesn't seem as outre as he hopes, with our drinking culture. Not everybody gets the many references to 80s indy band, The Smiths - but these are minor quibbles.
It’s a brutally earnest show. Most of the hour has Gethard discussing his lifelong depression and other mental health issues. In less capable hands this could have been mawkish or solemn, but it’s tackled with enough humour and detached irony that it really works. It is funny and poignant in equal measures.
Gethard isn’t a bombastic comedian, he is a considered storyteller. There is no real change in his manner, whether when he’s being comedic or dramatic. He builds the tension and then, just before it gets uncomfortable, pops it with a punchline. It’s a show that resonates with people and at times I could hear sniffling. At the end I saw plenty of punters with tears in their eyes.
Both here and in the US, the stigma of depression is still far too prevalent and this show helps to tear that down. It’s hilarious and moving, and a hour that many will really get a lot out of.