Andy Zaltzman Swears to Tell the Truth, Half the Truth, and Everything But the Truth

Satiremeister Zaltzman puts the S into surreal

By Lee Levitt, August 16, 2010
Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman

Is there an Andy Zaltzman Appreciation Society? There should be, for the man who co-wrote and starred in the BBC Radio 4 comedy sketch show "Political Animal" is a satiremeister, or would be if there were such a creature. And in his colourful world, there probably is.

Looking and sounding more than ever like a mad professor of comedy, Zaltzman puts the S into surreal, the V into vivacious and the sword into Silvio Berlusconi - "a man who has been involved in more scandals than a dyslexic shoe-shop owner".

Scarcely pausing for breath in a pulsating 70-minute show, that embraces everything from childbirth and world politics to philosophical musings on the truth, Zaltzman even tries to convince his audience that they should factor in an extra 5 per cent of laughs for his jokes in view of a cold he has been nursing since the start of the festival.

He fears neither the British National Party - "the only party in Britain named after what would happen if they were to disband - nor God, whose existence he pooh-poohs.

However, "the mouth from down south, the joke machine from SW16, the lapsed Jew with the quips for you, who suckles and chuckles at the tit of wit", as he introduces himself, does fear one type of person. "If you are allergic to contrived similes, I would suggest you leave this building now."

You have been warned.

More Edinburgh festival picks

The Stand Comedy Club, until 29 August

Last updated: 10:17am, August 18 2010