Adam Buxton’s Kernel Panic – comedy for the YouTube generation

The Edinburgh Fringe magazine can be so overwhelming; I decided to flick through and make a note of vaguely familiar faces of comedy. As it runs from A to Z, the first familiar face was Adam Buxton with a crazy look in his eye, looking like he’s trying to Skype from an 80’s computer

Having remembered him from the ‘Adam and Joe Show’ a few years ago and from listening to his BBC podcasts, I was intrigued to see what he was doing so my first Fringe show of 2013 was booked.

The show started a little later than planned (which I’m sure was no fault of Adam’s) but once we got started, Buxton set the tone for the show with a Moby / Michael Stipe melody, similar to this one from his YouTube channel:

As he took the audience through his MacBook, it was funny to see folders, which he didn’t particularly want anyone to see, i.e. ‘Dreams of me bumming Joe’ (his old comedy partner). He discussed random YouTube clips and their often funny and argumentative comments. He did a great job of voicing these comments in various accents to emphasise how silly they sound and point out the spelling mistakes. This is something you could do at home but when presented with Buxton’s comedic touch, he draws out the full effect.

As he picks out the spelling mistakes, I couldn’t help see Buxton as pompous and nit-picking but when the comments are trying to be serious, it’s funny to see their integrity diminish when they come back with phases like ‘this year was shit begunned’. Apparently he does lots more of this with his show ‘Bug’ on Sky Atlantic and some of the jokes were obviously directed to that audience, which went over my head, as I have yet to see it.

Buxton also showed his love for David Bowie and did a good impression of ‘Zavid’ himself. His other videos included a lot of himself and family and even Brad Pitt singing about poo. However, he apologised for being a little puerile and he responded well to heckles and drunken late night murmurs from the audience. I’m sure everyone was given food for thought in terms of how we present ourselves today in the digital age.

Jon Exton

Twitter: @thesocialant

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