Mike Wozniak, Medina & Negociants, Edinburgh Festival
Tuesday 19 August 2008
Mike Wozniak asks his audience not to heckle him with 118 118 jibes, though it's hard to resist, as it's a useful shorthand for his moustachioed appearance. Having established the visual, the vocal sounds like a cross between Murray Walker and David Attenborough, nasal and breathy, and Wozniak's delivery and joke structure have something of Stewart Lee about them, relying on repetition and occasional laborious detail to state the obvious but from a sideways point of view.
Fringe debutant Wozniak fixates too much on genitalia, though without being coarse. Unlikely premises, such as spilling muesli into his meatus (penile opening) are set up, in this case so he can deliver the line: "I'm worried because the last time I spilt muesli into something it was my mini-disk player and now that doesn't work any more."
Wozniak focuses a lot on his Polish ancestors, but only to use them as joke ciphers rather than signposts to his background. He recalls one family member – a Catholic priest – who met his demise at the hands of cannibals: "If your target audience are eating you then you are not the natural communicator that you need to be," he sums up wryly.
A curious debut from an intriguing comic who has the ability to be cleverly off-beat as well as occasionally off-beam.
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