Edinburgh Review: Ed Aczel

Adjust your eyes to Ed Aczel’s low-wattage comedy, and you’re in for a funny hour of anti-comedy, writes Ben Clover.

ed_aczel1Brilliant timing is the thing about Ed Aczel. Brilliant timing not telling jokes.

He trips you up so you’re expecting something, then boom! Nothing. His act can be a bit confusing until your eyes adjust to the low-wattage comedy Aczel does.

It can work really well or fall flat and he doesn’t seem to care either way. But he’s prepared for failure to the extent that he’ll sometimes track the disastrousness of the show on a graph.

He shambles on like a diffident binman, expecting and even courting disaster. He mumbles a Herb Alpert and limp puffs of dry ice punctuate the silences.

But the weird magic of it is that this is still pretty funny. The fluffed gags, the mumbled songs, they all work, in a perverse way.

And when it does go well it puts him in a real spot, because he’s more thwarting than sporting when it comes to building up momentum. Lots of comics’ material could uncharitably be called zany, the Netto surreal. Aczel is a rarity by having a genuinely surreal delivery.

It’s hard to rate his show because it’s clearly so variable but he’s definitely worth a look. Not an absolute banker for hilarity but unique and a nice antidote to more straighforward stand-ups.
Three stars
Edward Aczel Explains All the World’s Problems … and Then Solves Them is on until August 30 at 7:25pm at the Underbelly

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