REVIEW: Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord – 3 ½ *

REVIEW: Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord – 3 ½ *

Radio Ha-Ha! talks Ha-Ha!

Written by Vanessa Maselino

Critically acclaimed and the host of Viceland’s Hate Thy Neighbour series; Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord was definitely on our list of shows to catch at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The show promised brutal honesty “unflinching material on the state of society” and “something to offend everyone”. Thus, with this description in mind, I geared myself up for an hour of dropped-jaws, deep gasps, and punchlines so controversial that you laugh whilst also questioning your humanity.

As expected, Jamali opened the show with phenomenal crowd work. His ‘angry at the world’ persona, married with his quickfire responses, meant that the show started with roars of laughter. However, with the presence of audience members such as the pensioner who forgot he was married until prompted by his friend, and an overly posh gentleman dressed like a French poet; it’s hard to decide whether this is a usual start for Jamali, or if he simply struck it lucky with the crowd present on this particular day.

Much of the show’s content revolved around his time filming Hate Thy Neighbour. Therefore, when a group of girls began grinning up at him and whispering to each other; “I’ve watched every episode, I hope he does a season three”, the evening began to feel more like a Hate Thy Neighbour fan convention, rather than a comedy show. Nonetheless, Jamali’s delivery of certain material, such as his Facebook exchange with a Neo-Nazi, was faultless, exceedingly well executed, and met with near unanimous applause and laughter.

As the show progressed we desperately waited for the offensive material we had initially signed up for. Although Jamali joked on the topics of #WhiteWomenProblems and terrorists, nothing was really explored in enough depth for us to become invested in the punchlines. Through long-winded storytelling, it almost felt as though we were constantly building up to a hilarious finale that never arrived. Essentially, all foreplay and no climax.

Overall, Jamali’s talent as a comedian cannot be questioned. His impressive wit and bold onstage presence speak volumes as to why he is critically acclaimed and continuing to climb from strength to strength within his career. This show however, did not reflect his reputation, nor it’s description. I still recommend seeing Vape Lord, because Jamali is an inspiring performer in the way that he comfortably takes to the stage and works the room. Although, it is best to perhaps hold lower expectations for the show’s flow and content, in order to avoid disappointment.  

Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord. Various dates, times and locations have been added to this show, so please check here to book your tickets:


Radio Ha-Ha

August 15th, 2018

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