Langston Kerman @ Underbelly, Bristo Square

A confident debut hour from HBO star Langston Kerman

Review by Eve Livingston | 07 Aug 2019
  • Langston Kerman [no credit provided]

Langston Kerman just wants to know how to be a good person. From his impending marriage to a woman who is “better than him in every way” to his flatshare with “the worst person you could ever meet”, Kerman guides us through this internal dilemma over how to do the right thing in a well-crafted debut.

Best known for his role in HBO’s Insecure, Kerman proves his individual comedy chops here, performing straightforward stand-up without character or gimmick. He is immediately likeable and confident without arrogance, laughing reflectively at his own jokes and building an easy rapport with the audience from the moment he steps on stage. This skill becomes vital as he moves effortlessly between light and dark, recounting anecdotes about his fiancee’s toilet habits immediately alongside telling us exactly what his ex-roommate did to become a convicted sex offender. He never loses the audience, guiding us easily with him through moments of tension and darkness back to the punchlines.

Kerman’s ability to find humour in this subject matter without ever minimising its seriousness allows him to build an hour of comedy which ultimately provides intelligent explorations of themes such as toxic masculinity and race relations. For the most part it is perfectly structured; the hour's only detraction is that its conclusion feels slightly deflating in its flippancy after Kerman’s ability to get into the deep stuff is well established.

A confident and well-handled hour, The Loose Cannon handles original and delicate material with humour and skill. Langston Kerman is a comedian you can trust, and this is a confident and exciting debut.

Langston Kerman: The Loose CannonUnderbelly Bristo Square (Jersey), until 25th Aug (not 12), 7.45pm, £9-11