You can never be entirely sure if the material a comedian is sharing is true, based in truth, or completely fabricated. Of course we want to believe that it’s all gospel truth. New York based Kevin James Doyle had a wholesome upbringing, as a teenager he went to church camp, attended theatre camp and, during this time kept a journal of his escapades. In an amiable storytelling style he reads aloud passages from his teen diary, as if preaching the truths of his youth. Doyle digs deep into his past to rake up memories he presumably once tried to suppress; the adolescent embarrassment of a female doctor being the first woman to fondle his testicles, the crushing diagnosis of male pattern baldness at the tender age of 14 and how masturbating with your pals to Kate Winslet in Titanic can create a unique bond between friends. And, indeed, a stand up and his crowd… don’t worry, Kevin, your secret’s safe with us.
A truly a relatable laugh out loud hour
Some passages still clearly cause embarrassment as he smirks whilst confessing to crushes he once held. Each audience holds a new set of faces ready to judge, laugh and, ultimately admit that similar thoughts and experiences afflicted them growing up. On the surface Loud Blond Bald Kid may seem like a self-congratulatory pat on the back for Kevin as he playfully mocks his younger self. Now 33, he’s had a lot of life experience since his teens but this show is constructed to make us all appreciate what fun we used to share with our teenage friends – the ups as well as the downs. The very real upset caused by being demoted from the ‘cool’ kids’ lunch table to sitting with boys he’d previously teased to make himself appear ‘the funny one’. Suddenly finding himself on the bottom of the school social pile made him realise that he’d more in common with the nerdier kids anyway. The teens are our formative years, they shape us into who we will become.
While this show doesn’t carry a clear take-home message – in essence it’s a truly a relatable laugh out loud hour of stand up – but it left me pondering the circular nature of life. We grow to the same age as our parents’ generation before we know it. We blink and once cool music is now ‘old man music’. The kids Kevin now teaches, affectionately described as ‘circus freaks’ are probably going home to write in their own journals about their angst-ridden thoughts. Kevin points out that we can still teach our elders a thing or two. We are all constantly learning from one another if only we can connect, communicate and be honest. Which is precisely what Kevin’s aiming to achieve in his stand up – with a few fart jokes thrown in for good measure. This is a quality free Fringe show and I suspect Kevin’s got even more revelations yet to share in the name of laughter. Catch him in Edinburgh before he heads back to New York!