Daniel Sloss delivers a supposedly darker, meaner show in his later slot but most of his material is relatively clean, geared towards an audience who can laugh at him as well as with him. Much of his material invites parental or patronising laughter, though it’s clear Sloss is always in control of his audience and their reactions. From his confusion about how socks go from floor to wardrobe to his pot habit, Sloss plays up to his image of misspent youth and practical incompetence.
A lot of Sloss’ routine is based on stereotypes, some more modern than others. His impression of a ned – which he helpfully translated to chav for the English in the audience – went over well, but the ned’s ‘gay parents’ were brought to life by the limp-wrists and falsettos one might expect of a nineties sitcom. Sloss is careful to point out that he’s not homophobic, instead characterising ‘the gays’ as the nicest people on the planet, but his reliance on stereotype belies a laziness that he is clearly capable of rising above. Still, at no point did the atmosphere turn against him and the gag’s punchline earned loud laughter.
Though it’s understandable that Sloss’ youth is his most defining feature – aside from the close resemblance to Bieber, obviously – occasionally he alienates his contemporaries in the audience in favour of inviting laughs from the majority who are older than him. Thus halfway through the set Sloss disavows his ability to even make judgements, being only twenty one, an outlook that seems entirely inconsistent with the astute, occasionally meta-comedic observations made earlier in his set. This is only a minor problem, but one that’s a little irritating when Sloss could so easily present a more consistent persona.
There’s a lack of audience interaction that, though understandable, weakens the atmosphere a little. Sloss was heckled once during the performance and dealt with it rather well, finally rallying the audience together and gaining the biggest laugh of the night. He mentioned it was his first heckle of the Fringe and that seemed like a pity, only because it brought out the best of his off the cuff wit. Sloss is an incredibly likable, charismatic performer with a well-structured, funny show that just needs a few creases ironed out, but it might take him a while to figure out how an iron works.