To any 90s child, Caroline Rhea will be a familiar name from the credits of one of the era's best kids' TV shows, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Caroline played Sabrina's lovably kooky aunt Hilda, and later went on to present TV shows such as The Biggest Loser, but it turns out that stand-up comedy is her first love.
Unusually for an Edinburgh comedy show, Caroline has her own warm-up act, and even more bizarrely it is her husband! Costaki Econompolous provided a few chuckles and a little back-story about the couple's experience of Edinburgh with their one-year-old daughter. Costaki's calm, structured jokes were put into sharp contrast with his wife's arrival on stage, as her own comedic approach is much more spontaneous and exuberant. She regales the audience with stories from her life which always seem to involve her making a fool of herself, and her openness about her unsophisticated ways is very endearing.
However, one aspect of the show was quite irritating, and this was Caroline's continuous criticism of her audience. Perhaps we were an unusually quiet bunch, but jokes about the British being reserved only stay funny for so long and being ordered to laugh more will only make the audience too self-conscious to laugh at all! Despite this it was still an overall enjoyable evening, and I would certainly recommend Caroline's show over the masses of 'ordinary bloke' comedians who populate the festival's comedy venues.
Caroline Rhea performs every night until 25th August at 9.30pm at the Gilded Balloon.