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Dan Antopolski - Silent But Deadly
Published on Wednesday, 19 August 2009

One word: daft. There's no better way to describe Dan Antopolski's strange style of stand-up - a confounding mixture of one-liners, awkward laughs, comedy charts and rap songs. Yes, the man raps, and also has visual aids... This awkwardness creates a wonderful complicity with the audience, so everyone feels they're a little part of Antopolski's world. It takes a certain type of performer to pull of this sort of insane set, and Antopolski has managed to create a production that you're never quite sure you're enjoying until you walk out afterwards with a huge smile on your face.

To try and describe Antopolski's set is a ludicrous endeavour, but here goes: he covers sex, children, laughing, insults and everything else under the sun. A rambling, ridiculous insight into the world of Dan Antopolski is all you can hope to get. And yet the concept and performance are actually well-linked: this is a show about taking life a little less seriously, a show about enjoying the good times while you can and trying to find the humour in any given moment. Antopolski's ramblings are just that: ramblings, not to be taken to seriously or offensively.

This is old-fashioned stand-up, in a certain sense - good old entertainment for the sake of being entertained, with no hidden agenda or diatribe. However, in another sense, it is most certainly not what you would describe as typical stand-up. Antopolski clearly works from the school of awkward comedy, and his one-liners are often rather crude and, more often than not, a little offensive. It manages to work for him. The juxtaposition of such a daft guy with such materials is so incongruous that it has to be laughed at - and he even brings up how you're feeling about the situation, and comments on it in a deliciously self-referential and fun way.

Combine this cool and new style with comedy graphs which are actually funny (a rarity) and also not dwelled on (also a rarity among comedy graph users, apparently) and very funny and ludicrous rap songs, and you get an idea of what Antopolski is up to. This is brilliant, vibrant comedy, something completely new and different, a true gem amongst the hordes of stand-ups who descend on the Edinburgh Fringe.

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