Matt Kirshen missed last year's Fringe because he was busy being made into a minor celebrity on the comedy reality show Last Comic Standing, in which he did rather well. Kirshen, 28 going on 12 in looks, has duly been able to bring some nice Stateside material into his show this year.
Of a number of examples, the best scene-setter is the Texan lady he meets on a plane who marvels at the wonder of air travel: "I guess we'll never know [how it's done]". Kirshen stays with the theme of ignorance (and religion) in a routine about scientology, in which he recounts a visit to its museum in Hollywood called "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death". He wonders how they ever got psychiatrists to admit to their survey that one in 10 of them had sexually abused their patients.
Unfortunately, after a promising start the show wobbles thematically, and the lack of joins between routines is disorientating. However, the material is still of a high standard, such as his story about trying to get served at a drive-in restaurant when you have no car: "I was basically soliciting for chips" is how he describes approaching one driver to help him circumvent the outlet's crazy rules.
Despite the mix-and- match feel, Kirshen's career trajectory after his US success will be enhanced rather than damaged by this accomplished hour.
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