Saturday, August 30, 2008
Last year I enjoyed Reg D Hunter's show, but felt that the show wasn't quite the coherent intellectual statement that Hunter might have liked to think, and that it contained some comments that were mostly there to please an audience of shock junkies (an increasing Edinburgh Fringe demographic in comedy audiences, sadly). Both of these issues have been addressed for this year's show, leaving a man whose comedy is exactly my cup of tea: intelligent and with an intent behind it to communicate something as well as make people laugh. In this case, Hunter's show, "No Country For Grown Men" addresses the sense that men are being emasculated by today's gender politics. He begins this discussion with an anecdote about going into an empty ladies' loo to get toilet paper upon finding none in the gents, before notifying the management of the bar afterwards, only to be told that he should not have entered the ladies' in the first place. "It's not like, if a woman had walked in, I would have panicked and raped them", he complains. This sets the tone for the show: funny, but you could well take issue with it if you took it seriously. The only flaw in Hunter's set this year, I think, is that he ducks out of having a serious conversation before it has even started, with a spiel about finding people who are offended by his comedy ridiculous because obviously, if it says "comedy club" on the door, there is the distinct possibility that he was joking. This is a fair point, but you didn't find Bill Hicks using that as a way to duck out of defending his views.