Eddie Pepitone is convinced that we’ve been consumed by the ‘gelato syndrome’, where coziness and contentment have shrouded the harsh reality of our petty existences. Focusing predominantly on America’s distorted principles of war, commercialism and health, amongst other big issues, what follows is a furious response to a nihilistic vision of the twenty-first century.
It felt like we were being lectured just slightly.
Pepitone is clearly a veteran of the stand-up circuit and his delivery is assured and focused. Unfortunately, such is the nature of his material that it often obscures the very comedy of his act. Whilst he throws his respectable agenda in our faces, it sometimes felt that laughs were a secondary priority for Pepitone, who saw his performance as a useful platform for spreading his moral message. A scene involving a man facing his doubts over his mental illness in front of a sports crowd came across as too cynical, and there is only so much comedy to be derived from a truly hopeless situation.
Beyond this, Pepitone never seems himself as a symptom, or at least victim, of the problems he castigates so vehemently. It would be harsh to label him as seeing himself as morally superior individual, but it would appear to be a more conventional tactic to allows yourself, as the comedian, to show some weaknesses. It’s apparent that one of the key components of comedy is the ability to relate to the comic in their everyday struggles (see every single example of observational comedy ever), yet here it felt like we were being lectured just slightly. Pepitone’s points are profound and well argued, it’s just that we’d expect a few more laughs next time round.