Wil Anderson review - SkinnyFest

Article by Jonathan Liew | 14 Aug 2006
It's quite possible Wil Anderson is the most famous comedian at the Fringe that you've never heard of. A TV star and newspaper columnist in his native Australia, his popularity Down Under, coupled with his relative anonymity over here, explain the unusually substantial Antipodean presence in the Cow Barn tonight.

However, despite some delectable asides ("you Kiwis are going to have such a great time tomorrow when you finally get these jokes"), Anderson has no intention of turning the show into one big Aussie love-in. In fact, he reserves some of his sharpest barbs for his fellow countrymen in a set that flits between sex, politics, religion and his small-town upbringing. On stage he's a statically-charged ball of energy. Youthful, streetwise and intelligent, he quickly gets the audience on his side and reels off jokes at an impressive rate. Not just cheap gags, either – Anderson is a master of constructing a situation and finishing it off with a killer one-liner in the time it takes most comedians to drawl: "Say, what's the deal with this… war on terror?"

For somebody who doesn't really need to be here, he seems genuinely keen to win Edinburgh's approval. The last time he was here, in 1999, he received a nomination for Best Newcomer. Don't be surprised if he's in the running for the big one this time round. The happy throng leaving the venue are clearly convinced they've seen one of the Fringe's best kept secrets.
Wil Anderson - I Am The Wilrus, Cow Barn, until August 28, 21:30, £10.50/£9.50 (£8.50/£8.50).