Review: Alex Edelman: Just for Us

A promising name on the scene

★★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 03 Aug 2018
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Alex Edelman

What do Stephen Fry, the Royal family, and neo Nazis all have in common? For legal reasons, the only publishable answer here is that Alex Edelman has encountered them all in the last year. Just for Us is his shot at packaging these experiences into a neat little hour of frat-boy standup. 

His act is more polished than his nonchalance would suggest, but he has no shame in revelling in "dumb jokes", as he puts it. The Neanderthalic schtick is a bit of an outlier, though, as it eventually gives way for some surprisingly conscious material on Jewish identity. His tale of a Louis Theroux-style investigation into a white nationalist group is a wonderful exercise in setup and payoff, too.

He's funny in all the ways you'd expect a comic of his profile to be: boyish, juvenile and never afraid to satirise his upbringing in an Orthodox Yeshiva. "My comedy barely works if you're not a Jew from Boston", he laments. His appeal is much broader of course, although at times it feels as though he's trying to cast his net too wide, or to please too many crowds.

The lurches from sophomoric gags delivered with a wide-eyed stare (my guess is he's trying to contort himself into a reaction gif), to tentative prods at emotional depth, don't always sit naturally. Undeniably, though, he remains a promising name on the scene as his act evolves, and he has all the raw materials of a headliner.