Review: Mat Ewins: Mr TikTok

Half sensational, half chaotic – Mat Ewins' cutting edge twist on the video-sharing app

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Mat Ewins
Photo by Matt Crockett
Published 13 Aug 2023

This latest audio-visual extravaganza from Mat Ewins begins with a tremendously elaborate gag that must have taken ages to conceive, create and program, plus the technical logistics to get audiences hooked up. The show begins, it lasts, what, 30 seconds, and less than half of the audience had logged in anyway, by Ewins’ estimation. 

That’s life at the cutting-edge coalface. Where traditional stand-ups stare idly out of windows while writing new bits, Ewins is filming messy business with ponds and baked beans, then hours of editing and SFX to make them fly. And they fly by in seconds. You’ve got to admire it really, even when they’re horribly grim.

The conceit here is that Ewins has become a TikTok sensation, mock-boasting a mighty 1,000 followers, so he’s been advised to tone down the video violence. A suggestion that’s ignored, as his films still make Quentin Tarantino’s look like Disney’s: blood, limbs and brains akimbo. 

The squeamish may disagree but the first half of Mr TikTok is – in traditional Ewins fashion – absolutely sensational, visual gags exploding via screen, green-screen and – for those who bothered – phone. But then things get oddly disjointed, as if the real gold was exhausted early. Or perhaps Ewins is thrown by the baffled Californian couple sat front and centre, who end up on camera late on, which is all a bit unpleasant. 

On other evenings Mr TikTok may all go like clockwork, but this winds up frustratingly chaotic. Perhaps that’s how he likes it. A rough Mat finish.