RRS Poet/Comic Jamie Kilstein at Edinburgh Fringe NOW
Get information on when and where to see this show at the location of the posted review below:
|Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008|
|Jamie Kilstein: There Is No God And That's OK|
You know who’s gone for far too long without being the butt of jokes? Survivors of the September 11 attacks.
Well, bold New Yorker Jamie Kilstein grants them no such immunity, with brilliantly derisive comments about one woman who escaped from the Twin Towers just in time. Yet despite the subject matter, this is no gratuitously offensive line, but the natural result of a reasoned argument that just happens to be as funny as it is audacious.
His reasoning, like almost everything in this brisk, fluid hour, comes down to religion. And it won’t come as any surprise to learn that he’s not a fan.
But unlike the scores of comics who’ve read Richard Dawkins and suddenly felt able to articulate their atheism, Kilstein has terrifying first-hand experience of America’s religious right on which to draw: from performing his comedy to gun-toting mullet-haired racist homophobes in the Mid West, to his own sister, who believes Aids is God’s punishment to gay men.
His is a familiar standpoint, poking fun at the moronic beliefs of these dim-witted bigots, both powerful and powerless. But it’s an area that offers up so much scope for contempt that there’s plenty in those mines yet, and Kilstein’s full-length Edinburgh debut largely avoids exploiting the same seams as everyone else. He pushes and prods the subject from every angle, leading him to wonderfully extreme conclusions.
Aside from religion, the bright 26-year-old also tackles other obsessions of the right, from gun-ownership to John McCain’s impressive military record. But it’s not long before we’re back to the all-seeing invisible friend again.
He’s sharp, sarcastic and engaging, fearless in niggling his targets – at least in front of the liberal Fringe audience – and knows how to write a joke to back up his incredulous indignation. No, he’s not the only anti-religious comic around, but he is one of the best.
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