Jena Friedman brings some sardonic US wit to the Edinburgh Fringe
To give President Trump his due – and this isn't the show to come to if you are a Trumpian – he has single-handedly made American politics more mainstream. Yet for all that, a little prepping wouldn't go amiss if you want to fully appreciate all the references and nuances in this acid-humoured hour.
The New Jersey-raised comedian Jena Friedman, now living between New York and Los Angeles, is not one to hold back on criticising her country's body politic, as her 2015 Edinburgh Fringe debut show American C**t might suggest. Here, she takes aim with sardonic relish at the gun lobby, perverted (largely Republican) politicians, social media and, overwhelmingly, at men, including the "drunk driver" leading the country. Oh yes, and God as well who, it turns out, was a paedophile.
Friedman, 36, who has a Conservative Jewish background, zips along at quite a pace with the fervour of an evangelical feminist, firing off rounds from all angles at those (generally Republicans) who try to control women's bodies. But the future (cue more angst) belongs to robots – even possibly stand-up comedy ones: "Some of my jokes might be hit and miss, but it's because I'm not data-mining you."
Her neurotic Jewish sensibility, she argues, is appropriate to the fascistic air wafting over America. "I'm sure there was a time when Jewish people weren't neurotic," she reflects tartly, "but they didn't get out of Berlin."
Her world view is stark, fatalistic and dystopian, but there is also a refreshing simplicity at the heart of her outlook.
By Lee Levitt
Miscarriage of Justice runs until Sunday 25 August (exc. 12 Aug). 9.20pm. £12-£13, £11-£12 concs. Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh, EH8 9LH. www.edfringe.com