Myq Kaplan: “ImPerfect” at Edinburgh Fringe 2023

****1/2 (out of 5)

I don’t think of Myq Kaplan as an imp, per se. Nor as an imp, person; nor even imperfect, as he suggests in the title of his show.

I mean, sure, aren’t we all imperfect? Isn’t any comedy set itself imperfect, too, in the mind of the comedian, always thinking of new tags and different ways to word the premise or the punchline? And certainly, by definition, Kaplan is both short in stature and more than a bit mischievous in how he linguistically turns words into play. But there’s a lot more to his new hour than what meets yours eyes and ears, for what seems like a traditional hour of rapid-fire stand-up comedy eventually reveals itself to be something quite cohesive and completely assured.

Kaplan is a linguistics master, with the Master’s degree to prove it. And the imperfect tense suggests an action that is both in the past, and yet also incomplete. And yet. Kaplan’s hour, which he began developing before the pandemic as “ImPerfect,” arrives at the Fringe as something much more perfect and wholly constructed about his evolving understanding of love and marriage, something 20-something Kaplan couldn’t quite perfect, but something the now 40-something comedian can wrap his head and heart around, all while still making quite a bit of fun about the ideas, from reframing the Biblical definition of marriage to today’s traditional expectations about proposals, vows and commitment.

Also, he finds a way to make it all make sense to someone living in Super Mario’s world. Albeit in Kaplan’s world, there’s a lot more than 8 or 16 bits on display. More like a heap of bits.

Myq Kaplan: ImPerfect runs through Aug. 28 at Underbelly Bristo Square, The Dairy Room

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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