Edinburgh Day 18 (and some of Day 17 too)

Hello. Here is a proper blog. It will contain many things. If you are concerned about how many things or perhaps are worried about an overload of things, then please look away. I understand that yesterday’s blog was more minimalistic than an ant’s impression of Dan Flavin (check my knowledge). So while you may have breathed easy for a few mins, here is a mega bullet point list of the two last hectic days of my life. Then just when you thought it was safe, I’ve stuck some links to things at the bottom. Yes! More Things! Thingtastic! Thinglacious! Thingamajig!

Where to start….

– My Show

Last two days of shows have been really fun. I thought my show wouldn’t be fun anymore. I’ve said the words a lot and I thought that by saying them a lot I would hate them and never want to use them again. This of course would become problematic as I say some normal words like ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘Sainsbury’s’, so were I to not use them again, it might cause some issues in general banter. Luckily I am not sick of them and infact I’m enjoying doing the show more and more everyday. Crowds have been awesome and in the last few days I’ve encountered a parachuting soldier, the presenter from Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, and a NY attorney called PD, which was short for Elpado, which sounded too close to the name for a Mexican wrestling paedophile. Fingers crossed the fun continues till the end.

– Mark Watson’s 24 Hour Show

This will probably go down as the highlight of my fringe. I had wanted to be there for the start at 1am on Tuesday morning, but as Monday had been my day off, I vowed to get a good nights sleep before the madness of Fringe started for me again. Instead, I headed to the Pleasance Dome to join in the comedy endurance madness for about 11am. I had noted on Twitter that the current task was to find the smallest thing beginning with T, the biggest thing beginning with T and the best thing beginning with T, so I though it would be funny to walk in and declare myself the best thing. Feeling slightly self conscious about such a statement, I decided to also note I could just be the smallest thing. Mark then pointed out that they already had tea leaves, which caused me to boldly say I could make myself pretty small though. There was a Rhod Gilbert poster onstage and so it was decided I had to see if I could fit underneath it, which I could with ease. The poster was then declared my living quarters and I was suddenly the official 24 hour pet. I stayed under there until 3pm while people threw nuts and sweets for me, and I occasionally contributed to the proceedings. The only way I was allowed to leave at 3pm to do my show was if Chris Cox took me for a walk. It was supreme fun, and as soon as Comedy 4 Kids finished, I raced over to stay for the duration of the show until 1am (New Scottish Time). It was a truly brilliant night and while I hadn’t been there from the beginning like the hardcore crew, I felt honored Mark let me join in and was very pleased to be part of the madness. Favourite moments (that I witnessed) were:

– Watching Mark run up and punch Brendon Burns in the arm as the audience sung Eye of The Tiger.
– James Sherwood’s constantly awesome backing music (especially when he played the Third Man music as they were searching for the third Blind Date contestant)
– Blind Date with Simon Amstell and three young men from the crowd. I got to be Graham which was amazing.
– Chris Cox controlling everyone’s feet and Adam Hils arguing he should do a trick ‘everyone can do’.
– Al McGregor singing Creep, with Martin White and Amy Butterworth as a backing band. It was just beautiful.
– The unicyclist nakedly bundling Tim Key and Adam Hils
– Paul Foot’s purposeful leaving 5 minutes before the end.
– Me making the George 4 Theatre audience all do an electric boogaloo in the style of Mexican wave. I think that’s possibly the best thing I’ve ever done.
– The end retrospective, watching the videos of past 24 hour shows, before all the people who took part went on stage, sang Live Aid (don’t ask) and then held Mark aloft as the champion of comedy marathons. It was a lovely end and such a shame he won’t be doing another one. He’s done amazing things and become an Edinburgh legend. That night won’t be forgotten for some time.

There are some pictures of things on my facebook page. Do look.

– Jason Byrne and Adam Hils at Comedy 4 Kids

Yesterday’s Comedy 4 Kids line-up was probably the best line-we’ll ever get. Apart from me MCing, David O’Doherty did the opening set, which included a song he wrote when he was 10, called ‘Ladies’, and then the show was headlined by Jason Byrne and Adam Hils doing a double act. I had been looking forward to this all day and what ensued was the closest thing to anarchy any of those kids will ever see. Adam climbing on stuff and throwing mops at kids, Jason riverdancing blindfolded while the whole audience snuck out as DOD and Adam told Jason everyone was loving it, and Olympic Kid Throwing. It was on that borderline between being supremely hilarious and against all health and safety standards. Everyone else loved it. I spent some time really worrying about things going wrong. It is times like this I realise I am not a risk taker in any sense. I will take a cup of tea and some sensible reading over any extreme sports or rule breaking, any day of the week. I understand this is boring, but it will mean I never come close to dropping a large fan on a child’s head from a great height. Still, it was amazing.

– Twitcom2

Last night was also the second Twitter Comedy gig. Being the second one, the press were no way as interested, but it had generated some hype online and we sold a good few tickets. The deal was that the comics performed to a live audience, while my right hand web man James Hingley, acted like a court stenographer and typed up the gags and tweeted them, ultimately getting RSI and losing feeling in his hands for ever. After some initial stress about lack of decent wi-fi and comics not confirming or dropping out last minute, it seemed to all go ok. After the 24 hour madness, and Adam and Jason’s child revolution, I was not in the right frame of mind for the gig and hadn’t really planned any gags for it. I was MCing and we were on a strict time limit, so I didn’t much time for any, but I felt sad I hadn’t thought it through. Although I did say that were anyone to see James with damaged wrists over the next few days they were allowed to shout ‘Twanker’ at him. Sadly, I was proud of that. All the acts were great, with some killer one-liners coming out, and despite the intense heat of the room, the live crowd seemed to enjoy it. There was some dissent on line, by @tweetcomedyclub followers complaining all the tweets were taking up the web stream. What the dickheads didn’t seem to realise is that they could have just unsubscribed from the user instead of complaining about it. It has made me realise that there really are some complete tools out there. It was fun but not amazing and possibly overshadowed by the brilliance of the 24 Hour gig. Think I’ll leave Twitter gigs for a while now.

Some other things:

– Journalists have not implemented my rule of not calling me before midday. This makes me sad.

– Brendon Burns is doing Comedy 4 Kids today. It will be brilliant.

– I have met lots of Twitterer’s in the last few days. Special mention must go to all those Team Tiernaners that were at 24 Hour Show and Twitcom2, especially @shell_here who kept throwing kindereggs at me when I was stuck in my pet box, @GlossalFragster who’s a very nice chap and the team of @sturmwulfe and @glamlovinkitty

– I shared a cab with someone I didn’t know yesterday. Yes, like people did in the old days or in films. He had a cello so I thought it was safe. In fact he was a lovely man called Matthew Sharp who’s doing an excellent sounding show at the Pleasance called ‘Johnny’s Midnight Goggles’ and ‘Finkelstein’s Castle’ where he combines music and storytelling. I very much want to go. So should you.

– Italics on Twitter is //. Were this introduced hundreds of years ago, calligraphy would have been shit.

– The Such Small Portions office is a very small portion of a the GRV building. Oddly fitting.

– Justin Moorhouse is an ace radio presenter.

– I have eaten 3 crepes in 3 days. If you are what you eat then either I should get a stomach as flat as a pancake, or just become crepe at everything.

– I was trying to explain to people why the Loft bar is better than Brookes bar. My reasoning was that in Brookes I constantly end up in conversation’s about someone’s ‘Radio 4 show blah blah blah’, whereas in the Loft, I get very drunk, use socks and puppets and somehow get gigs in Ireland due to drinking matches. The Loft wins.

– I am hosting the annual sketch off at the Underbelly tonight. I will let you know how many jokes I make involving my confusion about a sketchoff being a Russian spy, and exactly how many groans they get.

Bonus things to see and hear:

My Scotsman article from two days ago:


My interview with Fresh Air Radio:


My interview on the Such Small Portions podcast:


A lovely article in Fest Mag about Comedy 4 Kids: