Fringe review: Yankee Dog Pig

Taking sledgehammers to icons, taboos and political correctness...

of•fend v. of•fend•ed, of•fend•ing, of•fends

v.tr.

1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

2. To be displeasing or disagreeable to.

3. a. To transgress; violate: offend all laws of humanity.

3. b. To cause to sin.

v.intr.

1. To result in displeasure: Bad manners may offend.
2. a. To violate a moral or divine law; sin.
2. b. To violate a rule or law.

Is Scott Capurro offensive? Probably, according to most standard definitions. Is he funny? Undoubtedly, but how funny will depend on how easily one is offended and how one reacts to perceived offense.

Absolutely avoid this comic if you are easily offended and/or do not take perceived offense well. Absolutely do not miss this show if you want stand up comedy at its very best – raw, rich, harsh and thought-provoking humour delivered by an accomplished professional. It is also delivered at our expense – and by ‘our’, I am referring not only to his immediate targets in the audience but just about all of humanity – homosexual, heterosexual, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, disabled people, almost every race and nationality – come under the knife on Capurro’s comic operating table.

Taking sledgehammers to icons, taboos and political correctness is nothing new for comedians; where Capurro differs and excels is the relentlessness of his unapologetic attack delivered in such a mild manner. While his tone varies and he occasionally plays outrage, he generally steers away from the shouting that marks so many other ‘offensive’ comics, delivering his diatribe with a friendly, soft-spoken, west coast ease.

What also distinguishes Capurro is the absolute ease with which he makes fun of individual audience members. Putting down an irritating heckler is one thing, directly insulting probably a quarter of your audience another. It is something, however, that he does with incredible perception and wit, always leaving the audience wondering if he will go too far (or asking – has he already gone too far…?).

What is truly amazing about Capurro is that he can be so insulting and yet remain sympathetic and humane; his vitriol contains sharp and incisive commentary on both the sorry the state of the world and our own psychological foibles and contradictions. It is comedy that works through playing with our unarticulated thoughts and desires.

On only a few occasions does this performance let itself down. First by straying into old and tired material – lesbians vs. gays, gay Jesus; and secondly he carried on just a little too long. An hour is about enough and when audience members at a festival have other shows to go to, they should not be made to feel bad by leaving a show that has run over.

Scott Capurro / Yankee Pig Dog
Divadlo na Pradle (30-31.5, 23:59)

Video on YouTube

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