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ERICH MCELROY’S (US) ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION

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Comedy

Venue:Bar 50, Within SafeStay Edinburgh Hostel, 50 Blackfriars Street Edinburgh EH1 1NE
Phone: 0131 524 1989
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: FREE TICKETED  
Room: The Alcove
AUG 4-28 at 13:20 (60 min)
 
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It’s not hard to be President, but it is hard to understand the most dysfunctional presidential election ever. Erich’s got the stars, the stripes and the spunk to explain it. American-born, but now British-based, Erich has appeared on BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, STV, Sky News, and BBC Radio 5 Live talking comedy, politics and translating the jacked-up, monster truck that is the US Presidential election. "Well worth it, even if you’re not in the least bit political." Edinburgh Evening News "A show worth seeing." Mirror “A box worth ticking” Metro @erichmcelroy


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News and Reviews for this Show

September 4, 2016  What's On London
Review for Erich McElroy: (US) Electile Dysfunction
Rating:
Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer
Don’t miss a hilarious and insightful analysis of the state of American politics by a natural and intelligent entertainer.
So many shows at this year’s Fringe cover Brexit or depression, that it’s refreshing to get a little light relief with a witty analysis of the flawed individual who’ll soon run The Free World. And there’s none better to provide it than Erich McElroy, an immensely likeable US stand-up who’s lived in the UK for 16 years. Because he gets what we don’t understand about America, explains it simply and humorously, and – importantly, given the range of ages in the crowd – puts it in historical context.
Looking like a cross between Jason Bateman and The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, McElroy gives a guided tour of US politics since 1990, yearning for more innocent times when you formed your own views. Nobody told him to vote for Bill Clinton in 1992. He took this decision by himself when Dan Quail (Bush Snr’s V-P) failed to spell ‘potato’ in a school spelling bee. Punctuated by plenty of laughs, McElroy rails against the media for polarising news to such a degree so that people’s views are effectively formed by looking in a mirror and asking if the reflection agrees.
As he moves his narrative towards the present, Donald Trump gets both barrels. McElroy admits a grudging respect for the demagogue’s resistance to shame and childish way of casting aspersions (“Some people are saying …”), balanced with cheaper gags about Trump’s tiny hands and unnatural affection for his daughter. Then, knowing his audience, he drops one excellent observation: “He’s like a drunk heckler, but The Donald doesn’t drink. If you guys trusted him before, you won’t now.”
But this isn’t an attack on the US right, nor does McElroy simply tell liberal Fringe crowds what they want to hear – evidenced by his 2015 anti-Scottish independence show which, by his own admission, bombed. McElroy is pragmatic and has previously voted Republican, so he also picks apart the faults of Bernie Saunders and Hilary Clinton – the latter for her uninspiring campaign and slogan. “‘I’m With Her’? Damn, that sounds like a husband who’s given up.”
Ultimately though, he reveals where his vote will go come November. “For all her faults,” he says, “that woman can spell the shit out of ‘potato’.”
Erich McElroy is performing (US) Electile Dysfunction at 13.20 until 28th August at Laughing Horse @ Bar 50. Click Here

September 3, 2016  Three Weeks
Review for Erich McElroy: (US) Electile Dysfunction
Current politics on both sides of the pond are making it look as if reality really is stranger than fiction. And it’s a brave soul who bases their show on something that seems to change on a daily basis. American ex-pat Erich McElroy focuses on three of the main protagonists in the US election: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and their race to the White House. It isn’t laugh-a-minute, and there are the occasional cheap, slightly crass jokes (references to post-menopausal Clinton, especially), but, having said that, there are some great observations, highlighting some of the reasons that even the most obnoxious politicians can get away with far more than they should. Click Here

September 3, 2016  TV Bomb
Review for Erich McElroy: (US) Electile Dysfunction
Erich McElroy returns to the fringe with what is essentially a potted history of presidents, from Bill Clinton to the current nominees. The focus is heavily on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s current campaigns. McElroy delivers a monologue which, although very amusing and excellently delivered, is fundamentally flawed. Should McElroy try to educate a British audience about American politics, thus keeping his observations light and more accessible? Or, could he delve beyond the commonly known things about candidates but risk losing the less knowledgeable audience? McElroy chooses the former. If you watch the Daily Show on Comedy Central or the BBC app there aren’t many surprises, although the audience is certainly kept smiling.
McElroy is missing an excellent opportunity to interrogate the reasons why the Trump campaign is still in the running. And even more so what a Trump presidency could actually look like. This would have appealed to those who know nothing about US politics as well as any ‘politicos’.
To be fair to McElroy, he does admit to being a Democrat yet is still able to openly criticise Hillary’s credentials. Ultimately though, McElroy is simply not keeping up with what Trump has said this week… but who can I suppose?
The most positive thing about this show is Erich McElroy himself. He is funny, likeable and self-deprecating. He is presenting some interesting observations about British people which may be where a future routine is waiting. But topical material needs to be kept up to date. Click Here

August 20, 2016  The Skinny
Review for ERICH MCELROY'S Electile Dysfunction
UK resident and US-born comedian Erich McElroy has history with political shows at Edinburgh, devoting his 2014 show to the then upcoming Scottish Independence referendum, and his decision to come down on the Better Together side. He repeatedly refers to that show as a mistake, but evidently it’s not put him off too much as he’s back with Electile Dysfunction [★★★] which looks at the presidential election in the States.

He’s on safer, less divisive, terrain this year. The absolute madness of a certain Republican candidate’s rise means he alone could fill a show himself. Hilary Clinton’s had her own scandals and is viewed with suspicion. There are a lot of pantomime villains, and the danger is that McElroy’s show loses a bit of edge in going for easy targets.

What keeps the show fresh is that McElroy doesn’t focus solely on the present day, looking at his own varied voting history, and examining both his formative years in smalltown America and his Lutheran upbringing. It’s an intriguing trip through a world we don’t see or hear about too often amongst the sensational headlines and extravagant rallies. He returns to the current political storm one more time to skewer Clinton and Trump’s slogans (“I’m with her” isn’t all that inspiring), before signing off with a show of support for the woman who could be America’s first female president. Click Here

August 20, 2016  The National
Review for ERICH MCELROY'S Electile Dysfunction
Comedy: Erich McElroy's (US) Electile Dysfunction

Three stars

IN Donald Trump, comics have the perfect subject. A man who cites both The National Enquirer and Alex Jones as “reliable sources”, he cannot open his mouth lest he offend someone, say the unthinkable or eat Kentucky Fried Chicken in manner hitherto unseen – with a knife and fork.

As McElroy, a seasoned US comic and floating voter from a small-c conservative town, explains, Trump's success is partly down to playing expertly to the echo-chamber of right-wing social media and how he has a genius for saying a terrible thing eg: “Mexicans are criminals and rapists” followed by a nice thing eg: “Mexicans are good people”, provoking a kind of cognitive dissonance that confused, weary voters don't really know how to respond to.

An expat who's lived the UK for over a decade (and who helmed one of the few shows in 2014 in support of keeping that Union), he's both likeably self-deprecating and open to the possibility he may be wrong.

Though some of his historical material on US politics will be familiar to anyone with a worn-out Bill Hicks CD, there's plenty of laughs to be had here (and his asides are often even funnier than his main material) as well as interesting comparisons between the UK and the US.

Until Aug 28, Laughing Horse @ Bar 50 (V151), 1.20pm (60mins), free but ticketed. Click Here

August 18, 2016  Chortle
Review for Erich McElroy’s (US) Electile Dysfunction
The nuttiest Presidential campaign in US history has been keeping the satirists busy trying to keep up with Donald Trump’s constant stream of brain farts, and crack jokes about what is already clearly preposterous.

Erich McElroy, an American who’s lived in the UK for 16 years, has the same problem. Plus the fact that the internet puts the sharpest American comedians and commentators on to every desktop, against whom it is impossible for him to compete.

So there’s little new in the opinions he sets out in (US) Electile Dysfunction, which charts a mainstream view of the campaign, balanced in the way it pokes fun at the three biggest personalities – Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – in equal measure.

He talks of how Trump uses the dog-whistle of suggesting the worst without out-and-out saying it and how his relentless pushing of the same idea, such as ‘crooked Hillary’ inevitably sticks. Sanders is portrayed as an irascible leftie, and the unlikeable Clinton as no one’s first choice, a dry political automaton reluctantly seen as the lesser evil.

The show is more of a monologue of entertainingly presented information than a stand-up set of punchy jokes, although there are few lines that shine and a few ideas that stick. McElroy doesn’t just talk about the current election, either, offering some background for viewers too young to remember vice-presidential hopeful Dan Quayle misspelling ‘potato’ in a children’s spelling bee, or the first Gulf War. Two defining moments in America’s recent history, if not exactly of equal importance, which again the over-40s will already be familiar with.

Despite what you might expect, McElroy is not particularly topical, not even referring to Trump’s assertion a couple of days before the show that Barack Obama was one of the founders of Islamic State… not ‘creating the vacuum in which they could germinate’ but an actual founder. Maybe he assumes that in the bubble of the Edinburgh Fringe, many of his audience will miss real-world news for the month.

The very latest developments notwithstanding, (US) Electile Dysfunction is a reasonable primer to what’s going on, an astute and fair-minded analysis of a situation beyond irony, presented by an eloquent communicator staking a claim to be called on for the next talking-heads show about American politics. But for the real jokes, tune into Fox News. Click Here

August 16, 2016  Broadway Baby
5 Star Review for Erich McElroy’s (US) Electile Dysfunction
This is political stand-up at its best. Neither hectoring nor dull, there are laughs throughout the show as McElroy, an American resident in Britain for the past 16 years, talks the audience through the American election and the candidates. What McElroy is especially good at is explaining, in an endearingly witty way, just what on earth is going on in America. When it comes to the jokes McElroy builds a quick rapport with the audience and is unafraid to take risks. On the very few occasions where his jokes didn’t come off his razor-sharp reactions led to a big laugh almost immediately afterwards.

Fantastic value for money and a highly enjoyable lunchtime hour.
McElroy, a self-described political nerd, came to the Fringe two years ago with a show he calls the only “explicitly against Scottish independence” comedy that year, and it did not go well. Perhaps because of his own personal connection, and perhaps because American politics is just distant enough to be subjected to honest analysis this show certainly does go well. It is extremely funny and sympathetic, riffing off his now dual British-American identity and his background in small-town America to talk about politics in a way that manages to avoid the repetitive liberal sneer beloved of many comics. McElroy does not look down upon Trump voters as is so-often the case with British comedians, and as he says, after Brexit, who are we to talk? McElroy does not, and this is a real relief, compare Trump repeatedly to Hitler. I must agree with McElroy that Hitler comparisons are completely and utterly overused these days.

Whether you are only slightly switched into the news cycle, or an American political obsessive who has read all of Caro’s LBJ volumes and watched every episode of the West Wing, this is a show with something for you. McElroy’s pitch is that he is mainstream, and no political radical (some of his patient disregard is also reserved for Bernie Sanders), but his analysis is not conventional, with anecdotes to delight nerds but still explained for the whole audience to laugh along. One of his major reference points is the now forgotten former Vice President Dan Quayle, who once famously told a schoolchild that word “potato” had “an e on the end”. As McElroy repeatedly says, in politicians he looks for people who can spell potato.

This is a Free Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, and as McElroy says in his pitch for cash at the end, if it was at Pleasance it would be priced very highly. Even with a contribution to McElroy’s Uncle Sam hat, this is fantastic value for money and a highly enjoyable lunchtime hour. Click Here

August 14, 2016  Edinburgh Fringe Review
Review of ERICH MCELROY’S (US) ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION
With his tan, bad hair, and lines like ‘a small loan of a million dollars’, Donald Trump has undoubtedly become an easy gag for the comedy world in recent months. When arriving to see ‘Erich McElroy’s Electile Dysfunction’ I assumed this would be one of many shows maximizing on the comedic gift that is Donald J. Trump. But I was pleasantly surprised by McElroy’s refreshing take on this somewhat overdone topic, taking this subject into a more endearing and personal sphere that left you with a feeling of consolation and hope about the situation in which we all find ourselves.
In this sell-out show, it became clear how popular this topic remains to be: a somewhat safe subject that guarantees a laugh. However, to place this expectation of ‘easy comedy’ upon McElroy’s performance would be greatly unfair and largely incorrect. What distinguishes this set from others I have seen was McElroy’s attention and interaction with the audience, being consciously aware of being an American comedian talking American politics to a British audience. McElroy strokes egos with the acknowledgement that Brits follow American politics because they enjoy turning their noses up at Americans, before bringing the audience down with the unspeakable ‘b-word’: Brexit. This assertion set the tone for the rest of the performance, dragging us all down to the same level and creating an odd sense of comedic community to face the discussion of our chaotic political climate.
Alongside this, the routine is more sincere and heartfelt than expected, relating to his own personal story of growing up in America and the past sixteen years living in the UK. It is easy to forget that this is stand-up, instead feeling more like talking to my American uncle and hearing his private experiences of politics - but a very funny uncle nonetheless. Like a special messenger sent over to explain what on earth is actually going on over the pond, McElroy is endearing, relatable and never let us forget our own political faults.
Inevitably, there are some predictable jokes made, which at times are a little disappointing but, overall, I felt this added to the amiable nature of McElroy: a non-egotistical voice of reason comically discussing narcissistic figures. A smooth flowing set teaming with essences of flamboyancy, sincerity and sharp wit leaving you with a hopeful beam on your face and desperately wanting more. Click Here

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