Alex Edelman Just For Laughs, Montreal QC, July 25
Published Jul 26, 2018Some political comics believe that taking down bigoted authorities and deconstructing current events in their act is their social and moral responsibility. After being confronted by that kind of political comic, Alex Edelman took it upon himself to give it a shot, but without the sanctimonious preachiness. The result is a fascinating, funny and occasionally deep hour about the day Edelman infiltrated a meeting of white supremacists.
Edelman's exposition of the inner workings of Nazism felt oddly lighthearted, yet he obviously still exposed the horror of racism as needed. His anecdote about a cute racist flirting with him was shockingly funny until he nightmarishly revealed that she spat in his face after she found out he was Jewish. Similarly, Edelman's memories of the anti-Semitism he faced as a child in Boston elicited sympathy from the crowd, but they also got big laughs as he observed that Jewish names don't work in English "because there's no letter for phlegm."
Overall, the most remarkable thing about Edelman's hour is that he didn't portray himself as a heroic activist fighting against pure evil, as many performers would. Instead, he admitted he's just a naïve guy who hoped he could trick a room of white nationalists into liking him, even though he's Jewish, and he let the Nazis' vitriolic actions speak for themselves. Consequently, Edelman's honesty and thoughtfulness shone as much as his clever writing, and the balance of the show was impeccable.