Review: Justin Matson – Fatter Than You Think

Thin material in LA comic’s personal show about body image

★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 04 Aug 2018
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Justin Matson

If comedy as therapy is an actual thing, then Los Angeles standup Justin Matson’s show, Fatter Than You Think, would fit the bill.

In it he describes his lifelong issues with overeating and body image, and coming to terms with being gay. He’s a smiley, likeable guy whose presenting style is conversational. He talks about how he has been thrown off three—count ‘em—rollercoasters as well as a spin-cycle class in LA, home of beautiful people who treat their bodies as temples. We’re allowed to laugh, he tells us, as this is meant to be self-deprecating humour.

The problem is that there aren’t that many laughs, big or otherwise, in a show that breaks down into “these are things that have happened to me” and “that was a turning point”. There are occasional well-worked gags—“I’m really bisexual, but I’m too gay for my straight friends and too fat for my gay ones”—and a nice takedown of those virtue-signallers who announce to their colleagues they are “just popping out for a salad” when what they would really like to do is wolf down a double cheeseburger with extra toppings and a large order of fries.

Yet, nice as he is, Matson’s material is—forgive the pun—too thin to carry an hour, and the detail he goes into with his fat-shaming theme-park anecdotes lends it a Pooterish air, but sadly without the lightness of wit.