Michael Che: Six Stars

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 08 Aug 2015

It's difficult to consider Michael Che's performance a success when he over-runs by 20 tense minutes, during which time he quizzes locals on where best to score weed and reduces a young woman to tears through increasingly mean-spirited audience interaction. Generally distracted and unable to locate a laugh big enough to end on, he finally settles for a pathetic whimper. Not good, right?

 

The thing is, the man spent the preceding hour excelling at the kind of loosely structured, informal set few can pull off. He may have worked his way through every clichéd subject at a black US comedian's disposal, but his takes were always inventive and frequently hilarious. So much so that his destructive trailing off was practically earned.

 

Best known for his appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, here Che demonstrates a surprising lack of ego and political awareness. He frequently makes contentious remarks, only to follow them up with statements intended to portray himself in an ignorant light. For example, when dead-panning his support for Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, his blinkered interest in character politics ensures we don't take him seriously. Likewise, a reprehensibly transphobic remark about Caitlyn Jenner is filtered through the ludicrous lens of pop culture so that it becomes possibly even charming.

 

There are undoubtedly safer, more consistent shows on offer across Edinburgh, but few talents as mercurial as Che's.