Political Animal, The Stand, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

They co-operate from opposite sides of the Atlantic with their weekly podcast, The Bugle, but Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver have not appeared on the same stage for more than five years – in that time, Oliver has become an Emmy-winning addition to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Tonight the pair host Zaltzman's Fringe political comedy night and it is a lovable reunion. "You pushed me away!" Oliver protests. "Why don't you just wipe your arse on a £10 note?" Zaltzman ripostes. Oliver replies: "I would if it was worth as much as it was five years ago!"

The satire begins. "It's a good idea not to sell ballistic missiles to leaders who have 30ft-high portraits of themselves" says Oliver, of Libya. When Zaltzman asks, "Anyone a fan of Gaddafi?" an audience member shouts "Which one?" Oliver notes: "I've missed heckles like that."

Would that the night had not been shared with a boorish set from Raymond Mearns, clunky routines from Aamer Rahman and the bulldozing vocal monotony of Lee Camp. Only the slyly clever, tired-looking Josh Howie worked for me.

There was one more cameo: Daniel Kitson, as the voice of God during a Zaltzman and Oliver skit. Something of a holy trinity.

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