James J. Robinson for GAY TIMES Magazine

For many, Hannah Einbinder has burst onto the scene. As Eva in HBO Max’s Hacks, she’s earned a string of award nominations and critical praise. The 2021 breakout series gave rise to her, and her co-star Megan Stalter (Hi Gay!), where she plays series lead Ava, a witty Gen-Z writer and comedian with a ‘cancel culture’ past who teams up with a legendary Las Vegas comedy diva (played by Jean Smart) to revive her career.

And for all her 27 years on this planet, Hacks is her highest-profile turn on-screen and in comedy. But we all start somewhere and for former GAY TIMES cover star Einbinder she’s getting back to her stand-up roots with a new comedy set in London’s Soho Theatre from 26 September till 8 October. Once named one of Vulture’s best new up and coming comedians to watch in 2019, now, years (and a pandemic) later she’s proving so much more than that in her new show.

Opening her set with a short introduction to her life so far ‘for those who may not know me’ featuring soft elevator-like music in the background, Einbinder cracks mommy jokes, quips about America and eyebrow pings at the audience. The introduction is a simple set up for the exceedingly dry humour she goes onto perform in the next hour, as subjects range from being the ‘comic relief’ in her first barista job to the presence of yoga mat materials in her favourite Subway bread.

But it’s Einbinder’s personification of climate change and scathing analysis of the US’ food safety standards that really stand out in her set. Equally frustrated with the world’s progress on combating climate change, Einbinder does well to represent the voice of today’s frustrated generation fed up with the double standards of the polluting elite. In a particularly impassioned skit, Einbinder characterises planet Earth as the ‘toxic husband’ and climate change the castout ex-wife taking her former partner to court for abusing his power; ‘How dare you want to leave me for another planet?! Good luck with that, she doesn’t even have water!’

In a set punctuated by awkward deliberate movements of her microphone stand and loud sips on a pint of water, Einbinder flows fluidly through more embarrassing anecdotes and bits of advice from her therapist. In one skit she describes how her therapist suggested she see a hypnotist to help with her ADHD. After a long pause (Einbinder uses awkward silences like many a great dry comic) and particularly piercing stares at the audience, she exclaims, ‘That’s right, the therapist I’d been seeing for 15 YEARS suggested I go to see a MAGICIAN’. It’s punchlines like this that not only punctuate her show, but draw comparisons with her on-screen character Eva who makes similar quips for Jean Smart’s Debra Vance in Hacks.

Einbinder’s set is not only gloriously punching, it’s littered with queer references for all those LGBTQ-ers in the audience. Towards the end of her show, she describes her gloriously queer family made up of her bisexual self, two trans siblings, lesbian grandmother and a father who cries when Julie Andrews hits the high note in Sound of Music, ‘so he must be something, right?’ It’s a punchline that ends an incredible set for a comedian ready to give voice to every catastrophising millennial.