Daniel Sloss runs on to stage with an arrogant smile. The Scottish born comic returns to Melbourne with one vague underlying message. We’re all c*nts. He’s just the c*nt we’re paying to make us like ourselves a little more.
Sloss is trying to be provocative in his 75-minute act. The material ticks off a series of boxes in the search for controversy: religion, death, world war two, love, VEGANS! It does not stray very far from last year’s performance, dark. Although in fairness, it was less anti-political.
The show never hits a low point in the energy register. He speeds through the topics hitting most of the points he wants to make, but is never as insulting as the pithy title may suggest. This is probably due to the amount of backlash he claims to have had from the previous year. He constantly reminds us of the arrogance of his critics, and how he’s so much better than them as he drinks a cheap beer. He transitions between topics with ease and the subject matter is broad, including such topics as wiping poo off your hair.
Sloss borrows opinions and context on matters rather than deliver from personal observations and insights. For instance, he raises hypotheticals about 11 year olds ‘coming-out’ and what position liberals might adopt before lampooning it.
Anytime the subject matter gets too serious, Sloss always relates to the only novel series he seems to thoroughly enjoy, Harry Potter. It’s an old trick – moving from controversial terrain to an unrelated point, which does elicit some laughs.
People have referred to him as a rising star of comedy since his big break at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival when he was 19. In his latest show, he is eager to stand amongst the likes of Louis C.K. and Ed Byrne, who he cites as some of his influences. Whether it’s his age, his awkwardness, his lack of a definite point of view or his earnest emulation of his comic influences, he’s come way off where he probably wants to be.
The show addresses to a large degree his critics from last year whom he attempts to shame. His adopted, nonchalant attitude toward critics is belied by his focus on them. He reminds the audience who gets paid more, which is hardly an indication of how funny his shows are, but I guess technically he might be right. Notwithstanding some of these issues, there are enough humourous moments in the show to make it enjoyable.
Daniel Sloss will be at the Taxi Riverside 7pm everyday until the 21st and then one more time at Melbourne Town Hall at 7:30pm on the 22nd.