Eddie Pepitone’s Bloodbath, Just the Tonic at the Tron, Edinburgh


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The Independent Culture

“I used to want to be a star but now I just like the hot darkness.” So laments the 53-year-old Eddie Pepitone. Part of this year’s American contingent, the comedian and actor (his roles include a recurring part on The Sarah Silverman Show) powers through a set that is almost exclusively anticomedy.

It’s a rough ride at times, but we go with him. Just when you might be thinking that comedy couldn’t eat itself any more, the burly comic, a cross between Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito, introduces a force feed.

His commitment to his ideas requires an almost admirable amount of repetition and volume; fortunately there’s a point driving them both.

He employs them for his now vintage routine on an insecure and depressed rapper, who puts vulnerability into swagger: “I’m gonna pop a cap in your ass. But not tonight because I recently switched anti-depressants and the medication has to level out.”

Later he rants and repeats his way through a routine that juxtaposes the need for clean work shirts amid a world in chaos.

In his closing self-heckling portion he berates himself for turning his show into theatre for legitimacy, but by this time the audience has already validated him with their laughter, albeit sometimes of the nervous kind.

To 26 August (0131 226 0000)