Edinburgh Fringe 2017
Danny Lobell has a funny story to tell – about how he ended up in stand up comedy and how as a Jew who has Scottish ancestry he is kinda mixed up. From such treasured memories along life including stories such as abusing the House Account, the meanness of Jackie Mason and being a light bulb salesman they each have at their heart the tale of a man who has bigger intentions than sorting out Juanito the Rooster but can often be derailed by the need to attend to the details that life has decided to throw him.
Lobell is genuinely funny. The problem I suffered from at time was that I almost had more confidence in his material than he did. It is clear that his material, whilst personal, is American in nature and does not always translate quite as well as it ought to Scotland. We do not tend to have Colombian tattooists in our neighbourhood nor house accounts in our clubs nor is there a massive diaspora of Jews in Scotland – as he mentioned at the beginning and Jewish jokes can make us uncomfortable.
It means a lot of material is hit or miss. On this occasion, it mainly hit as there was enough goodwill in the room to make it worth his while. At times some of the delivery was faltering, like he hoped it was funny rather than he knew it was and that did not help the neutrals have the confidence needed to guffaw and spread the news.
In essence, this is a guy with a mike in Jury’s inn. There is not much theatricality required and the material could be packaged better. If the story was all about how did I get into comedy well let me tell you, to allow the narrative to weave a little better. As it stands, pardon the pun, there are loosely connected stories that by the end suddenly become concretely connected – sometimes we need to see the joins.
Thing is, I genuinely laughed – quite a lot. I found Lobell engaging, warm, funny, a good storyteller and someone I would love to see again.
Jury’s Inn though, is not the kindest of venues in the fringe and had he been able to be in another Space venue I am sure he would have found more out loud laughs in his room – as it is, there’s enough to feel entertained.