If you’re looking for some genuinely funny political comedy, Rahul Kohli is your man. With fast-paced delivery, clever jokes and an electric atmosphere, this is stand-up which doesn’t let its message of tolerance and live-and-let-live get in the way of its relentless humour.
Newcastle Brown Male is the perfect choice for a late evening comedy gig.
Kohli’s set is pitched just right: slightly edgy without being offensive; a good mix of clever conceits and hilarious one-liners; and all with a generous helping of charisma. The current-affairs-based material is dealt with inventively via off-the-wall analogies that mostly work, and if they are sometimes too far-fetched it’s not long before we’re laughing at the next gag. His childhood experiences of racism, not a natural source of comedy, also came complete with outrageous wit, particularly in the ways ethnic minorities are unexpectedly racist to each other.
Mixing the clever with the ridiculous, the show can be enjoyed even by those not usually a fan of current-affairs-based comedy. Unlike some Fringe comedians, Kohli does not come across as earnest or outraged in his politics, instead they simply serve to add a satirical edge to his material. Trump, Teresa May and the Middle East all come under fire, but the humour is almost never offensive (and when it is, Kohli makes it cheekily deliberate), managing to be both sharp and silly.
Kohli clearly had the audience in the palm of his hand, and part of his appeal was his relaxed and tolerant attitudes to life. Any comedians can laugh at racists, and Kohli does better than most, but his overall message is that angry confrontation and fighting hate with hate is getting us nowhere, and shouting at someone is unlikely likely to win them over to your cause. His conclusion that opposing viewpoints should try and find some common ground was a feel-good end to an accomplished show.
One of the most purely enjoyable stand-ups I’ve seen at the Fringe so far, Kohli impresses on all counts. Comparable with some of the bigger names at the Fringe, Newcastle Brown Male is the perfect choice for a late evening comedy gig.