I never thought I would be endorsing jokes about rape, but when it comes to Adrienne Truscott’s show “Asking For It”, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
The tagline to the show’s title is, “A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else”, which should give you an idea of what it’s like. Truscott is pantless (i.e. naked from the waist down) for almost the entirety of her time on stage and this plays into the humour extremely well. For example when she does a handstand, the face of comedian George Carlin, who claims to find rape hilarious, is projected onto her stomach, leaving her pubic hair to provide a goatee. The joke is repeated a couple of times using different faces, but never enough to make it feel old, which is pretty indicative of Truscott’s show overall: everything feels new and shocking, which in the internet age is hard to achieve. For me, it wasn’t the nudity, but more the anger that burst through her comedy at the idea of rape culture.
It seems that she is over being shocked at how we as a society treat rape, deciding that humour is the best therapy and response. In laughing about it, however, we don’t diminish rape but confront the ridiculous – and often dismissive – way it’s spoken about by other comics and in the mainstream media. Comedian David Tosh, in particular, comes in for ridicule in Truscott’s show for making gang bang jokes. Other targets to laugh at range from victim blaming, to roofies (rape drugs) and the Republicans’ idea of “legitimate rape”.
All in all, this would be one of my top picks from the Comedy Festival. Yes, it will offend some people and may only appeal to a smaller audience, but it’s still a powerful show.
On the downside, I disliked Truscott’s persistant joke that she was new to comedy, which seemed to wear a bit thin towards the end. It’s true that some of her points could have been better made.
Even so, I would urge you to see the show. It’s probably not the right choice for a new date or family members, but if you’re going with friends or a longer-term partner, “Asking For It” is a must-see.
“Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else” is on at the Basement Studio at 10 p.m. tonight and Saturday.