Assembly George Square Studios – Studio Five

August 1-25th – 9:20pm

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (Five Star)

This was my first time seeing a full hour of Jena Friedman’s stand-up. She had been a guest on The Guilty Feminist podcast this year and, having listened to her five-minute set, I was hooked.

Friedman walks on stage and immediately gets down to business, talking all things from the NRA (although, not the initialism I was expecting) and Trump to the struggles of being a woman in America today. However, it is clear that underneath the humour, Friedman’s show has an important liberal message which shines through.

As the show progresses, it becomes apparent that Jena Friedman herself is a terrific writer of comedy (her credits already include writing for David Letterman’s late-night show and also working on β€œThe Daily Show”). She knows how to structure jokes, she knows where the laughs come from and has terrific comic timing. The highlight of the show was her material on abortion, both brilliant and brutal. It was at this point in the show where an audible gasp of β€œJesus!” was heard from an unprepared audience member. Friedman’s response of β€œOh, we’ll get to him later!” made the moment even more memorable.

The element that really works about the show is Friedman herself. Her decorous demeanour as she takes to the stage juxtaposed with the ruthless realities of much of her material is something that took me a moment to get used to. However, after a few minutes, I was more than happy to go along for this wild ride. This is an hour of comedy I won’t forget any time soon.


James Macfarlane