Stand-up, Pleasance Courtyard , Venue 33, 20:30 until 30th August.
Alex Edelman is a young stand-up comic from New York with great delivery and lots of potential. Everything Handed to You is a one hour comedy show filled with entertaining stories of Edelman’s family, upbringing and life as an American in the UK. The venue is, as described by Edelman, an aircraft carrier and can therefore hold only around 80 people. But during the sold out show on a Monday night it feels cosy, full and packed with laughter. Edelman’s delivery, timing and sense of humour could definitely sell out much larger venues!
His wide-eyed staring at the audience to begin with might make you feel uncomfortable and worried you might be picked on, but after a while his look of bewilderment brings everyone together and adds great humour to his jokes. The show is generally very welcoming: Edelman’s form, especially his stories about his brothers, is quite reminiscent of your funny mate telling jokes in the pub. That’s not to reduce Edelman to that title – he is far more professional than this. But it gives an idea of the enjoyable atmosphere of the show.
There was one moment in the set that seemed to disrupt the flow when Edelman began to gush over his girlfriend. It was sweet but it felt somewhat out of the blue and the pace seemed to be a bit stunted. Fortunately, it did progress into a funny anecdote about pedicures, and it was hardly a low point in the show as there was laughter throughout the whole hour.
The formula of Everything Handed to You is tried and tested, not offering much new, alternative or “out there” comedy, but it didn’t need to. Edelman’s stories and relatable humour are accessible to the whole audience and the content holds its own without needing gimmicks. Overall, this was a really funny and enjoyable show; it’s highly recommended for an hour of simple, relaxed laughs.