Todd Barry: American Hot

Article by Ariadne Cass-Maran | 22 Aug 2011
  • Interview: Todd Barry

Todd Barry is a softly-spoken, deadpan American comic and his style this afternoon is mirrored by his audience. Perhaps too used to playing larger club venues in the US, Barry seems thrown when this typical Edinburgh afternoon audience quietly appreciates his brilliance rather than erupting in laughter.

Barry's anticipation of the audience's reaction is neatly demonstrated when one of his punchlines ends in a naughty word which sees the audience shrug rather than hoot with shock, and this affects his confidence as the show goes on. As the hour progresses, Barry looks for a crowd reaction that doesn't come, or comes in unexpected places. 

Barry has the kind of gentle sardonic wit that could turn him into a superstar, but this show won't be the one to do it. He trundles along through a series of unrelated jokes, opening the show with an amusing but not hilarious introductory video; reading aloud from a magazine and mocking its stupidity. It's all funny, but without an overall structure or unifying theme, the show feels disjointed and lazy. It's a pity, because Barry's delivery is outstanding. 

Todd Barry: American Hot, Stand III 3pm, until 28 August £10 (worth checking out for his Receipt Museum)