As part of Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2018
Erich McElroy quickly warms the chilly basement of Glasgow’s Yesbar with his high energy self-intro and eager manner on stage. After seventeen years in the UK he has retained his US accent but embraced the British way of life. Something from his home country he can’t escape these days however is, of course, Donald Trump, and the myriad questions – and accusations – he receives daily. Thus we have the basis of this politically-charged show.
McElroy manages to steer clear of most of the obvious – and so easy – Trump putdowns, though. Instead he gives a slightly different insight into Trump’s rise and ongoing Presidency. From his unique perspective, McElroy details the pre-election image of Trump in the States as well as highlighting the madness of some of his more recent scandals, all with zinger punchlines that never falter. Particularly funny is his Trump-briefing-style explanation of the firing of FBI director James Comey, recited as if from a children’s nursery rhyme book. If only it were fiction. Hilarious, too, are the readings of McElroy’s tweets to Trump along with the inevitable clap-backs from The Donald’s ‘followers’.
Amongst the politics the comedian also fits in some digs at his Brit neighbours he meets on kids’ school runs and at tombolas, questioning our penchant for alcohol at primary school events and mocking our mocking of the States. It’s never cruel humour though and the modest crowd – whose attention McElroy fantastically hooks from beginning to end – are always laughing at themselves with him.
Despite the modest venue, McElroy is a pro at enveloping the audience and giving us a worthy hour-long set. The pace never dips and the jokes land every time, including some off-the-cuff audience interaction that works brilliantly. It’s clear McElroy would rather see Trump out of the White House, but let’s hope the next President provides this much material for the comic to entertain us again.