Jamie Kilstein, The GRV, Edinburgh
Thursday 21 August 2008
It's not hard to see why the fresh-faced UK comic Matt Kirshen recommended his US counterpart Kilstein to Fringe audiences. Both are ardent and eloquent critics of religion, and both have material that is sometimes weightier than their own personae can carry.
Wearing a Batman T-shirt and speaking with a tangy timbre, in There Is No God and That's OK Kilstein preaches to the converted about the deficiencies of religion, from esoteric routines about the alleged kiddy-fiddling tendencies of the Mormons to God's unlikely intervention in procuring him a soul-mate.
UK audiences have seen or heard US comics from George Carlin through to Bill Hicks and Doug Stanhope doing ballsy routines on religion, but the quality of their delivery, which helps remind an audience why they should care, is lacking here.
Kilstein can construct a fine joke and characterises someone who says "God loves me" as someone who would have pushed his way to the front of Twin Towers escapees and whom God would have saved so that there was "someone naive enough to believe in me on 12 September."
He has some deft phraseology about the American right and builds up their status as the villain of the piece with the idea that some would "tip minorities [working in supermarkets] with war stories."
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