The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Ismo Leikola (Observing The Obvious, 2015)
This week I want to head back to 2015. That year the show was broadcast live on Leith FM community radio, as well as being a podcast, with a number of guest hosts joining me – so you’ll hear the voice of WUSB New York’s Emma Backfish – as well as our comedy just… Finland’s Ismo Leikola.
For countless decades, the ‘observational comedy’ routine has been a staple of stand-ups… yes we have all seen just how many Cafe Nero’s there are, and how many stamps you need to get a free coffee, but Ismo brought a new angle on this to the Fringe… doing it in his second language.
…he plays up the bewildered ‘foreigner abroad’ shtick beautifully, acting befuddled by our British peculiarities – not least with the language, full of such oddities and contradictions. But we are so familiar with them, it takes an outsider to point them out.
A laid-back Finnish style put me in mind of the razer sharp gentleness of Arnold Brown. Ismo’s skills weren’t in the choice of well-worn topics, they were in putting a twist on the resulting points that lifted this show up.
So we return to the Gilded Balloon, we return to the time-honoured comedian watching our everyday life, we return to a rather chaotic studio, to Observing the Obvious.