Reginald D Hunter has become known for both his stand-up and BBC panel show appearances. He delivers a show that is entertaining, and while a little close to the line, it is clear he is at ease with toeing that line. His show consists of short sections, each with its own main set-up and punchline, as well as one-liners scattered throughout. Hunter does what he sets out to do, performing a show that is thought-provoking, funny, and shocking.
Hunter warms up to his show by discussing Edinburgh and the Fringe. Having been coming for 20 years, his knowledge of the festival and city are quite extensive. He claims that the audiences in Edinburgh could handle anything – stand-up and politics, stand-up and culture, stand-up and religion, stand-up and sex. “You can do anything you want to an Edinburgh audience, as long as you warn them first.” Little do you realise that this forms a checklist for his own show, covering these topics and more. But don’t worry – he does warn you. Hunter switches between dick jokes and life lessons, all the while keeping the audience laughing.
It should be noted that this show is not for the easily offended. Opening his proper set with exploring about the use of the ‘n-word’, he continues into pieces about the reclamation of derogatory language and a minor brush with the ‘me-too’ movement. These subjects are embedded into larger areas such as his family in the USA, the current political climate, his newly-discovered daughter and sexual relationships. Occasionally the audience is divided, with one half laughing and the other half taking a quick breath, but Hunter is adept at bringing them back together with a follow-up joke.
Pre-existing fans of Hunter will find this show just as they’d expect. He’s sharp and witty, building up to punch lines with ease. Although uncontrollable, belly-clutching laughter is rare, the show maintains a chuckling audience throughout. At times, his topics can hit a little close to the line, but this is not unusual for Hunter. He is a comic that has made his home on the borders of acceptability, and he knows it. His self-awareness, along with well-honed humour and thoughtful tangents make for an entertaining show. It is certainly worth a watch.
The Brand-New, Full-Throated Adventures of Reginald D Hunter is on at Pleasance Courtyard – The Grand
At 21:40 until 25th August (excluding 19th)
Buy tickets here
Image: Kash Yusuf