London Comedy Magazine and News
Robert Newman: Total Eclipse of Descartes review – philosophical funnies
t the start of his comedy career, Robert Newman was famous – with partner David Baddiel – for a sketch called History Today in which they played fogeyish academics dissing each other’s mums. Twenty-five years later, it’s history every day for a comedian – a little less famous now – whose successive shows delve deeper into the past to fathom the dodgy politics of the present. His new set, Total Eclipse of Descartes, like its two predecessors, takes aim at what Newman sees as a rationalist fallacy – in this case, the body/brain duality as proposed by the titular 17th-century philosopher. On Descartes’ flawed logic, he blames the centuries of human exceptionalism that followed and much of the “macho sadistic melodrama” that passes for science today.