A legend of US and UK television, Rich Hall hasn’t played the Fringe in six years and since then has had to watch his profession teeter on a knife-edge thanks to the pandemic. He spends much of his set wandering around the stage as a bewildered, bemused older man, stating that he doesn’t care about a lot of things (most specifically being ‘cancelled’). Yet you don’t need to look hard to see that Hall really does care about what he is doing, even after so many years. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to deliver such a belting comedy set that allows the best parts of him to shine through brighter than ever before.
Be it his infectious rants or improvised musical numbers, Hall is almost unbearably funny. Reflections on comedy’s place in 2022 and reflections on his own past gel together perfectly for routines that consistently catch you defenseless. The absurdity of his stories somehow only confirming their truthfulness – a bit about Bert the nuclear bomb turtle is as unbelievable as it is wheezily hilarious.
Hall doesn’t waver from what he is best known for; his stony-faced, ironic and pretty grumpy delivery that makes strange and wonderful situations all the more entertaining. Having just released a new album, he also incorporates music into his show as he has done for decades now. Hall’s quickfire lyrical thinking gets some of the biggest laughs of the night (as do his often abrupt, vocal interactions with the crowd).
Hall covers a lot of different subjects during his set, but ends it on the ideal note by talking about his love for Edinburgh and Scotland – albeit in his predictably weird style. He is a comedian who has such control over his audience that it is uncanny, and most of them will be crying with laughter for the entire hour. It takes a master comedian to incite laughter on such a relentless scale, and Hall is as fine as they come. With SOLD OUT: TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE, he has yet again proved his mettle.