Matt Nagin thoroughly let the Free Fringe down with his show Wolly Mammoth Panic Attack. With a title like that, I expected hilarity, hairy elephants and general joy. I got none of these, but instead unrealistic sex stories, drug abuse chat and some stereotypical Jewish jokes. It was a slow hour of awkwardness and disappointment.
Nagin’s material was based on audience interaction and thankfully a lot of the audience were funnier than he was. His show was based around love and relationships, both the audience’s experiences and his own. There’s always a chance of that being a touchy subject with some people, so there were a few uncomfortable moments throughout the show. In saying that, it added a much more interesting and entertaining dimension to the show, rather than our alternative of watching Nagin grab his crotch and make New Yorker jokes for an hour. To give him his due, Nagin did handle the uncomfortable moments well and got back on track with good humour and confidence.
Halfway through his show, Nagin asked his audience if they wanted him to keep going with his planned material or to switch to Edinburgh-based jokes. Unfortunately, the audience decided to go with the latter. It’s a sad moment when the audience ask a comedian to completely change the direction of his show. It’s even more of a shame when the change of direction doesn’t really work either – awful as it was, maybe Nagin would’ve been better powering through with his pre-prepared material.
If there was one redeeming feature of this show, it was the finale, with Nagin’s wonderful woolly mammoth impression. Not quite how I imagine our furry friends to have behaved, but comedy gold nonetheless. The rest of Nagin’s show, sadly, lacked originality and simply didn’t make me laugh – something I would thoroughly recommend a comedy show to do.