Daniel Sloss: X
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You could say Daniel Sloss is a quick study. In 2007, the aspiring Scottish stand-up comedian was hired by famed U.K. comic Frankie Boyle to write material for the comedy panel show Mock the Week — when Sloss was just 17 years old. A year later, Sloss was performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and competing in the finals at its annual So You Think You’re Funny competition. And in 2009, he returned to the festival with his first proper solo show, Teenage Kicks, which he would take on the road to London’s Soho Theatre. Not surprisingly, Sloss’ early sets got a lot of mileage out of his uncommonly young age, as he greeted audiences with self-deprecating one-liners (“Hello! Are most of you fairly disappointed that a child just walked onstage?”) while reenacting the most awkward scenarios from his adolescence, like having the sex talk with his dad. (His natural ease with sharing humorous anecdotes made him an ideal candidate to host a 2012 TEDx Talk about the art of storytelling.) But as he became a fixture in the Edinburgh comedy scene — debuting a new show annually throughout the ’10s — his scope expanded to riff on topics ranging from sexuality and homophobia to travel and the Twilight series. In 2013, he made his debut North American television performance on Conan, and further endeared himself to Stateside audiences through appearances on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, @Midnight, and Comedy Central’s Drunk History. In 2018, he taped two of his one-man shows for a pair of Netflix specials that delve into more emotional territory: DARK touches on the death of his younger sister when he was just nine, while its sequel Jigsawis described as “a love letter to single people.” (Sloss claims that the latter set’s central question about dead-end long-term relationships — “All I’m asking is have you ever accidentally caught yourself thinking how much easier life would be if [your partner] were to just die?” — has ended over 4,000 couplings, and that he has the direct messages to prove it.) But just as those specials are introducing him to a larger international audience, Sloss is already onto the next one. His 10th proper solo show is titled (natch) X, and its 2019 itinerary includes dates across the U.K., a February residency at New York’s Soho Playhouse, and a springtime tour of Australia.