Chris Turner – What a Time to Be Alive

What a Time to Be Alive worried me slightly. “Post-Brexit and pre-Trump, Chris moved to America. Comedy is all about timing,” reads the blurb. Between them, comedians have managed to run both Brexit and Trump into the ground in staggering record time. I was already sick of material about Trump last Fringe, and now he broadcasts much funnier stuff than any joke you could tell about him on his personal Twitter, daily. At this point I’d happily let him stay President in perpetuity, so long as it meant I’d never have to hear another tired joke about his hair or skin tone again.

Thankfully, Turner doesn’t really deliver on the threat, and even the scant material about Brexit and Trump is more original than you’ll find pretty much anywhere, even it does provoke glazed eyes. Turner himself is the same loveable nerd he was at his last Fringe show, but there’s a marked decrease in sugar levels. He seems to have a bit more confidence as a comic these days and it shows in slightly riskier jabs, nothing that any sane human being could call offensive mind, but there’s plenty jokes with a sharper edge than you’d have seen from him before.

Musing upon moving to Los Angeles, he’s mostly full of praise for his new home. There’s plenty of jokes at America’s expense, though for a British comic, he’s refreshingly upbeat about the Land of the Free. While he doesn’t shy away from criticising the United States, there’s none of the vaguely superior sneering you’ll often hear from other comedians when they target their witticisms across the Atlantic.

As you might expect from Chris Turner, there’s dozens of academic gags about some very arcane subjects, and plenty of smart recurring jokes too. Also returning are his freestyle raps, which remain as impressive as they’ve ever been. He has this incredible ability to string words together on the fly, about quite literally anything.

Apart from the slightly eye-rolling Brexit and Trump material, What a Time to Be Alive has very little I wouldn’t recommend to Turner’s demographic of worldly nerds. Equal parts childish, smart, and funny, it’s absolutely worth catching while he’s back on home soil.

★★★★

Keiran Burnett