True to form, Californian actor and comedian Christopher Titus makes fun of his own tragedies in his debut show in Edinburgh. Getting it all off his chest, he invites the audience to reflect on family relationships, mental illness and generational trauma, all with a big grin on his face.
There are 'difficult mothers' and there are 'manic-depressive schizophrenic alcoholics'. Passed back and forth between his violent and dysfunctional parents, Titus was on first name terms with the local sheriff from a young age. The stories of his youth are shocking, but he urges the audience not to gasp ("I make up jokes, so you don’t get sad"), maintaining that however bad things get, there are ways of dealing with it.
Titus has been carrying his childhood monsters around his whole life, and now he’s doing his best not to pass them on to his children. He spent thirteen years fighting his ex-wife in family court, and in the second half of the show he seemingly tries to convince the audience that none of it was his fault. Hearing only one side of the story doesn’t clear his name beyond all reasonable doubt, and the self-righteousness is bordering on uncomfortable at times, but this is nonetheless an entertaining hour by a seasoned professional.