Paul Bunyan Runs for President

Y’know, I have to be honest — I feel almost guilty for laughing as much as I did at this show. Because it’s such a dumb, obvious gag, and it plays out with few variations for an hour. But something about this hits me right in the goddamn funny bone, because I was laughing. Steadily throughout, almost without pause. Covering my mouth, giggling like a schoolboy. More than I did at the Scrimshaw thing. More than I was at Cody Rivers. I have no idea exactly why I find this premise so cripplingly hilarious — and I have no idea if anybody else would — but, man. I was practically out of my seat half the time.

There’s some political undercurrent — there’s a level on which this could be read as a history of the Republican party for the last several decades, with Johnny Inkslinger as a kind of heartbreakingly earnest libertarian and Paul Bunyan as, well, every political candidate they’ve put forth since Reagan. (And it’s both amusing and troubling to note that the actor playing Paul Bunyan is so damn appealing that we effortlessly forgive him the incredibly vast cost in human life his actions cause.) But this is less hard-hitting satire than it is a goofy farce, setting loose a dumb, cheerful giant to plow through the world of politics.

So, yeah. Definitely the funniest show I’ve seen in the Fringe so far, in terms of laugh-to-minute ratio. Under sixty minutes, too, so they won’t fuck up your schedule.


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