Paul Black, best known for their witty Scottish-centric skits on the social media app TikTok, returns to the Fringe this year with a brand new show ‘Nostalgia’.

Amassing a following of nearly quarter of a million on the app and accumulating over half a billion views online, it is fair to say Black can be counted among some of the rising stars of Scottish comedy.

There is always a worry for how well any medium translates into another, and a 30-second video that can be practiced, edited, and re-shot is entirely different to an hour long stand-up act. Thankfully though, Black has honed their craft by managing to pack a great mix of real life anecdotes, generational observations, and universal impersonations.

‘Nostalgia’ follows on from Black’s sold out Fringe runs in 2021 and 2022, and stints at Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo and King’s Theatre, taking place in the Gilded Balloon.

As a self-professed working-class, gay person who grew up in Glasgow, there are tales from Black’s life-story that many will relate to. It is re-affirming to hear someone else confidently share how they struggle with yo-yo diets, trying to stay positive and spying on old school mutuals to criticise their life choices. The audience is a mix of young and old alike who laugh hysterically at his self-deprecating humour given with a knowing cheeky wink, showing how relevant his style of comedy is.

One story that goes against the grain of the relatable format and forms the backbone of the show though is his dad’s devotion to being the best preacher at their US-style church by using Black and his brother as real world examples of God’s love overcoming all; even Glasgow’s sectarian football hatred.

We are shown an image of the two brothers, geared up in their respective Celtic and Rangers kits, and for those who do not understand the gravity of the situation are given a quick run-down of just how unheard of this is in Scotland. Touring with his dad to be paraded around for sermons gave Black his first taste of stardom, and the rest is history.

Given the variety of material, one thing that stood out was the natural flow from one joke to the next as Black’s easy-going and friendly nature shines through so that none of the stories feel jarring.

He makes a point to share with us how confused some other audience members have been over some references such as the Irn-Bru festival, which makes the show feel personalised for the natives in the audience, as if we are part of a secret in-joke, akin to keeping the story of Haggis animals alive for tourists.

With his solid storytelling skill and ability to turn a throwback culture reference into a hilarious bit that resonates universally, Black has firmly cemented himself as one to watch out for in the comedy scene.

‘Nostalgia’ runs until Sat 19 Aug 2023 at Gilded Balloon Teviot – Debating Hall at 19:00