Alex Edelman: 'I wanted to see the worst the world has to offer without me having to leave Manhattan'
- Brian Donaldson
- 26 February 2020
In his latest hour, the acclaimed American comedian delves into online hate close to home
Plenty has happened to Alex Edelman since he was last on Scottish shores storming up the 2018 Fringe with his usual eloquent and intelligent treatise on contemporary mores. He's been working on the third series of Radio 4's Peer Group, with episode one due up on 5 February which analyses what it means to be 'cool'. Meanwhile, he made another appearance on Conan last October, considering how Robin Williams is clearly the best comic who ever lived given that a sign-language gorilla called Coco was proven to be a big fan: 'My comedy barely works if you're not a Jew from New York City: Robin Williams crossed the species barrier,' Edelman opined.
That 2018 hour was Just for Us, his third full stand-up affair after the Edinburgh Best Newcomer-winning Millennial and its equally excellent follow-up, Everything Handed to You. A show which was triggered by anti-Semitic hate on social media was topical in 2018, and depressingly it's no less pertinent in 2020. 'Everyone gets abuse online but I find myself being disproportionately affected by stuff that makes me think that the Nazis are back, and that maybe there's some real sinister thing going on that I'm not quite aware of. Twitter really was a big impetus for this show, but I also wanted to see the worst the world has to offer without me having to leave Manhattan.'
The reviews of Just for Us (at its core it's about him confronting some NYC neo-Nazis in their own backyard) were golden and an Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination deservedly ensued. 'All of my shows have been a little journalist-y,' he states. 'My first show was almost entirely a reportage of the different types of millennials I was meeting, and the second one was about my brothers and religious identity. Yet this show is weirdly my most personal show so far.'
The Stand, Edinburgh, Sun 1 Mar; The Stand, Glasgow, Sun 15 Mar, and touring.