Edinburgh 2013: Michael Che: Cartoon Violence


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The Independent Culture

Tonight is one of those nights where the comedy comes dangerously close to being defined by the audience rather than the comic. The tension occasioned by audience banter gone on too long, and gone wrong, at the start of this American comedian's show casts a shadow over much of the rest of the night.

Che, an agreeable sort, handles it in a rather push-me, pull-you sort of way, trying to herd the miscreants while also giving them a good comedy jab. "I like talking to people" he assures us, "It's fun. Well, it could be..." Now a writer on Saturday Night Live and one of Rolling Stone's 'Top 50 Funniest People' this year, the 30-year-old New Yorker does eventually get to take a droll stroll around a range of unrelated topics. 

He saunters from casual racism to drinking buddies, via romantic regrets, childhood mishaps and an off-hand relationship with current affairs. "I don't owe China shit, I owe T-Mobile $90" is his response to US debt.

While his political viewpoint is blunted, his observations are sharp. This is particularly apparent when he compares technological advances and how the human urges they facilitate remain unchanged. Could Polaroids have played the same role as sexting, albeit with a necessary postal delay?

Familiar territory given a new spin: pretty much the prime requisite of a stand-up, and, for the most part, Che pulls it off. His future is a promising one - with or without attentive audiences.

To 25 August (0844 693 3008)