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A L T E R N A T I V E . O F F E N S I V E . F U N N Y www.thefixonline.com S e p te m b er 2 0 0 9

FREE!

Stars in their eyes Comedians on the Fringe become the act that influenced them.

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BY ARRANGEMENT WITH VIVIENNE SMITH MANAGEMENT PRESENT

DIFFERENT CLASS ‘A MASTERFUL DISPLAY OF THE COMIC’S ART ...THIS IS A SEAMLESS AND PERFECTLY TIMED SHOW THAT COULD STAND PROUDLY NEXT TO ANY IZZARD, BAILEY, CARR OR SKINNER STADIUM-FILLER.’ ★★★★★ SUNDAY TIMES

‘BYRNE IS AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME’

★★★★ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

‘AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS POWERS ...IT’S NO WONDER THIS IS SELLING OUT NIGHTLY’ THE OBSERVER

★★★★★ METRO

FROM 7 SEPT 2009:: Charing LONDON: VAUDEVILLE THEATRE 404 Strand, London WC2R 0NH | Nearest Cross/Covent Garden/Embankment. Train: Charing Cross | www.seetickets.com TICKETS: 0844 412 4663 / 0844 579 1975 www.ticketmaster.com www.edbyrne.com


>Edinburgh 2009

Contents Brilliant Listing of Ten Of The Best Bits In This Issue 18.Edinburgh Guide This is where it all starts. The 86-page business end of the magazine you are now holding. So bumper, you are technically actually getting a Fix with your Edinburgh Guide, rather than the other way round.

37.The Fix 50 As it says, if they’re not in the Fix 50, it’s not at Edinburgh. Spiritually, not literally.

92. Paul Foot and Lionel Blair Yes – they said it could never happen. It has, and Harry Deansway was there to prove it.

66.

96. Malcolm Hardee The Fix pays tribute to one of our all-time comedy heroes.

98. John Gordillo Ah, the turn of the century. If you remember it, you weren’t really there. A lot of people won’t remember Gordillo’s RDA, but The Fix do, and we miss it.

37.

118. The Bugle It cost us the whopping fee of 50p, but you demanded him, and we broke the bank to bring him on board. It’s the maiden appearance of Andy Zaltzman’s Times Online podcast, in print format. Only in The Fix!

128. Culture Club The Fix pay homage to Boy George… oh, that’s next issue. Brand new guest-led section taking it’s first flight of fancy, with Jane Bussman remembering Thorn Birds.

Regulars 114. Columns A whole new line-up of columnists this issue, including David Quantick and Helen Keen. And an old face back too.

130. Releases What’s new, what’s good, what’s worth spending your giro/redundancy money on.

136. I Shouldn’t Laugh

92.

…but Boothby Graffoe does.

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> EDITORIAL

Editor’s letter W

elcome to the Edinburgh edition of The Fix. I know I said I would never do another issue of the magazine in Edinburgh, but some c*nt rang me up in December and asked about buying an advert, and what with my bank balance looking like it was back then, it felt like for once I might be able to make some money out of this debt-eating festival. Hell, I might even enjoy it. Fast forward eight months, and not only was that the only inquiry we’ve had; it was for about £200, which won’t even pay for my train fare up there. And after three months of comedians e-mailing me press releases about their godawful show about the “credit crunch” or “Michael Jackson’s anus” or whatever it is

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they are wittering on about this year to get their TV pilot/ Radio 4 show/ job as a joke writer for some panel show on Bravo, I once again find myself at the helm of the good ship Nervous Breakdown. Welcome to Edinburgh. “You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps”. Never has a truer phrase been said about a workplace. Having worked in the comedy industry for three years now, I can honestly say that there is not one comedian appearing in Edinburgh who isn’t stark raving bonkers. A comedian is the type of person who will say they are not having sex with your girlfriend whilst your mum is giving them a blowjob under the table. That’s the sort of person we are dealing with - egomaniacs so mentally unstable that if they thought it was in the best interest of their “career”, they would cut off their penis, stick it on their forehead, and call themselves Dave The Amazing Dickhead. A fascinating insight there into the machinations of the comedy industry, but don’t worry about it. I don’t care that an Indian child

is forced to hand-sew the Nike emblem on to the trainers I bought last week, so why should you give a shit how comedy is made. What happens in the back of the store is none of your concern - you don’t give any consideration to the fact that some spotty millionaire’s son is wanking off in the stockroom of HMV whilst you are buying the latest copy of Kasabian’s album; it’s all about what happens front of house, and these mad bastards who I work with are pretty good at making people laugh. So relax, enjoy Edinburgh, and have a laugh; but spare a thought for the poor bastards who have to hang around with these arseholes all year round. Enjoy.

Harry Deansway

Edinburgh Debtometer The Fix asked all the comedians who featured in the magazine how much money they had lost over their career in Edinburgh. Some had broken even, very few had made profit, but the grand total for losses from contributors to The Fix magazine 2009 was £350,000.

August 2 0 0 9


A different line-up every night, promising the biggest names and hottest new talent.

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

Live from the

Pleasance Dome 5th - 31st August

Compères include:

(not 18th & 25th)

Jon Richardson Phil Nichol Dan Atkinson Susan Calman Justin Moorhouse

11pm

For tickets please call

0131 226 0000 or go online

bbc.co.uk/comedy


> C A M PA I G N

Mock mock the week

F ix Campaigns World Fix The indless m r u o n i Jo ns campaig m il.co ne@gma thefixonli

Hey everyone, weak satirical comedy show Mock The Week has returned to BBC2 for a new series. Hahaha, an MP spent taxpayers’ money cleaning his moat and there’s a black president in the White House - better hide the family silver!

I

f, like The Fix, your idea of entertainment isn’t Hugh Dennis behaving like your dad at a nightclub, making unfunny, out-of-date quips about events like Margaret Thatcher’s resignation, then The Fix has an idea to make Mock The Week a more enjoyable experience for you. To be played every Thursday at 9pm whilst watching Mock The Week, best played with friends or family.

Head of Comedy the Friday after the show. The scores will probably be in the minus numbers.

Be sarcastic

Set the scene

Every time one of the panellists says something supposedly funny, repeat what they have said out loud in a sarcastic or stupid voice.

Dress the room you are watching Mock The Week in as if it was 1996 - this will make the show seem cutting edge and relevant.

Turn the sound down on your TV whenever Frankie Boyle says something. This will really annoy him.

Train a friend or family member to play the violin so that they can play it when a decent comedian is introduced on the show. This will act as a suitable soundtrack to the travesty of a decent, hard-working act having to do the show in order to raise their profile and sell more

Silence Frankie Boyle

Keep score

Keep an actual score of how many points you think the teams have scored, then fax them to the BBC’s

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A musical interlude

tickets to their live gigs.

Mock your own week Take it in turn to mock an event in each other’s personal lives that happened that week that is only relevant to the people in the room. Laugh loudly and look pleased with yourself, no matter how tiresome it seems.

The end

When the show is finished, sit around pretending to cry at the prospect of having to wait a whole week for another episode of the award-winning show.

Mock Mock The Week! August 2 0 0 9


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R E A D E R

O F F E R S

“Get these Bloody magazines out of the hallway” Harry’s parents

BACK ISSUES Frank Sidebottom Dec 05

Please take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to remove the piles of magazines from our hallway …I mean own back issues of the UK’s only nationally distributed comedy magazine The Fix. They have been sitting in my parents’ hallway … I mean increasing in value and worth over the last 2 years and now, for the first time you can get your hands on the issues you may have missed out on.

Russell Brand March 07 Jimmy Saville April 07 David Cross June 07 Pappys Fun club Josie Long August 07 (Edinburgh special) Flight Of The Conchords October 07 Stewart Lee and Simon Munnery in conversation Dec 07 Alan Carr Feb 08 Rick Shapiro April 08 Paul Whitehouse May 08 John Shuttleworth June 08 Michael Barrymore August 08 (Edinburgh special) John Pinette August 08 (Edinburgh special) Freeze (Tim Key and Tom Basden) August 07 (Edinburgh special) Tony Slattery October 08 Neil Hamburger December/Jan 09

R E A D E R

O F F E R S

Cheques made out to: The Fix Media Ltd Address: The Fix magazine 46 Aldgate High Street, Room 30, Aldgate, EC3N 1AL. England, UK


R E A D E R

O F F E R S

“Subscribe to The Fix tomorrow. You are probably busy today” Hello, my name is Harry Deansway, and I am Editor of The Fix magazine. I am 27 years old, I am single, I still live at home with my parents, and last year my total earnings were less than £3,000. By picking up a copy of The Fix, you are buying into my lifestyle. You won’t realise this, as you will be distracted by the excellent interviews and features on comedy, but continue to read The Fix and you will find that, like mine, your life will begin to fall to pieces. Your partner will leave you, you will get into thousands of pounds worth of debt, and you will do all your shopping - including clothes - at Costcutter and Spar. If this sounds like your idea of fun, then fill out the form below.  

Not just delivered to your door - we’ll put it through the letterbox too Never miss an issue* Free mystery object with each issue Each magazine delivered in an envelope * Hopefully

Hello, my name is Graham Meatdish. I take care of the business side of The Fix. All of the above is merely a marketing ploy as part of The Fix brand. This is a genuine offer, and if you would like to take out a subscription, please fill out the form below. It would be great to have you as a subscriber.

“Where do I sign…?” Two years (18 issues) at £32 One year (9 issues) at £18

ce hoi c A two of tive cu : exe kages pac

MR/MRS/MISS/MS/SIR/LORD/DR/ HER ROYAL HIGHNESS                    FORENAME ........................................................................................................................................  SURNAME ..........................................................................................................................................  ADDRESS ..........................................................................................................................................  POSTCODE ........................................................................................................................................  HOME/MOB TEL ................................................................................................................................. E-MAIL ADDRESS .............................................................................................................................. DOB ........................................................................................................................................  I enclose a cheque or postal order for £ .................... made payable to The Fix Media Ltd The Fix subscriptions: The Fix. 46 Aldgate High Street, Room 30, Aldgate, EC3N 1AL. England, UK

R E A D E R

O F F E R S


5

of the best

Summer’s here, which inevitably means that the televised mental institute that is Big Brother is too. In celebration of this, we at The Fix have picked our favourite contestants in the history of the show.

2

Crap Jack

Hahaha! I’m laughing just thinking about Crap Jack’s crazy antics! Clingfilm on the toilet, shaving foam fights, crying himself to sleep! Brilliant! This total arsehole was so wonderfully loud and extrovert, how could you not love him and his collection of t-shirts with pant-shittingly funny slogans written on them?!  Crap Jack can now be found in a bedroom at his mother’s house, self-harming.

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1

Louis de Melville

Who could ever forget Louis?! The ex-serial killer brought a certain tension to the house, and by tension, we mean carnage. What started with the housemates thinking Louis was on some sort of ‘secret task’ involving a kitchen knife and the women’s faces ended in the horrific realisation that none of them would ever get to wear their eviction outfit. Authorities stepped in after just three hours while Louis was using a severed limb to write “Shit Hammock” on the diary room wall.  Louis is now under observation in Broadmoor Mental Hospital.


> FEATURE

3

Series 5 Diary Room Chair

What a chair! It was obvious from the outset that this chair would be hit with the public. Bringing us unforgettable moments like the time when it was a chair, and the time when someone sat on/near it. A refreshing change from the series 4 chair, who was a smug cunt. The chair unfortunately perished in a domestic house fire. There were no other fatalities, unless you count pets and the elderly.

4

Shirley Mancini

Page 3 wannabe, Shirley shocked viewers at home when she revealed herself to be the illegitimate love child of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. This resulted in Prince Philip making a surprise visit to the house. After Philip had finished calling everyone “black bastards”, he ended his trip by making Shirley a Duchess. Shirley can now be found living it up in a castle in Scotland with her tits out.

August 2 0 0 9

5

Timmy Leap

Timmy managed to tug on the nation’s heart strings like no other housemate, by being the first ever contestant to suffer from leprosy. Timmy wasn’t as popular in the house, especially after his right arm fell off in the hot tub and he refused to clean it up. Things came to a head when the other housemates refused to forfeit their luxury shopping budget to pay for Timmy’s medication. Timmy had the last laugh though, when all the other housemates contracted the disease and fell apart right in front of our delirious eyes. Timmy crumbled due to pressure of fame (and leprosy).

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> Editorial

What the fuck is Twatter? Twatter is an online service for twats, dicks, stalkers, and co–wankers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, pointless answers to one shit simple question: What the fuck are you doing with your fucking life, you twat?

Get Fucking Started You Twat – Join! Sign in, you twat! twatter name or eTwat address:

twatword:

Urnnnnn!!!! Forgot password? Click here you Twat. Already a Twatter from your phone? Click here to stick it up your stink pipe, you fucking desperate fucking twat.

“It’s one of the twatterest-growing phenomena on the internet”. New York Times

“Twatter is the first thing on the web that I’ve been excited about in ages. I’m literally bored of tits”. Jason Kottke, blogger

“Twatter is so good, it gives me bed sores”. TIME Magazine

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Twatter thread Tony Hancock Life’s total brillo at the mo! Shooting new TV series, gonna be a cracker! Shane Ritchie I’m thinking about soup. Oliver Hardy Just about to move piano up stairs with Stan. Wish me luck! Tony Hancock Everything still awesome!! TV show looking great. Sid James has got this hilarious laugh, sounds like this – LOL!!! Bill Oddie Thinking about reforming the Goodies, all I need to do is… just saw a Falcon! Fuck the Goodies! Oliver Hardy Piano in pieces. Stairs on fire. Stan = total prick. Tony Hancock Just heard rumour that Opal Fruits is gonna change its name. Sure it’s bollocks. Everything still great! Shane Ritchie I’m just going to eat soup. Tony Hancock It’s true. Opal Fruits IS changing to Starburst. Goodbye cruel world. August 2 0 0 9


TOP COMEDIANS CELEBRATING 25 YEARS

INCLUDING

RHOD GILBERT FRANK SKINNER SARAH MILLICAN LUCY PORTER ARTHUR SMITH FASCINATING AĂ?DA SIMON AMSTELL 2PM SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS

SEE pleasance.co.uk FOR FULL DETAILS Pleasance Theatre Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales. Charity Number 2013041. For 25 years the Pleasance Trust has provided a platform for the talent of the future and has been the first to showcase the work of many of our best loved comedians, actors, directors and writers. The Pleasance Trust does not receive public funding and it is grateful to the many individuals and businesses who continue to support our work.


Reader’s Offers Obviously it’s Edinburgh, so the world’s only comedy mag has got a Caledonian theme on the go for our line of competition questions this issue. Scottish readers may be offended by the rampant reinforcement of derogatory stereotypes. Och aye, they will that. See? First up, to win a copy of the brilliant Bill Maher’s new DVD: Bill Maher-Live.

Question 1: What does Sir Sean Connery have tattooed on his forearm? A. Get tae fuck B. Roger Moore is a spare prick! C. Scotland Forever

Now for something a little tougher. Answer this question correctly and there could be a copy of Armando Iannucci’s excellent movie ‘In The Loop’ on it’s way to you. NB: If you don’t win, buy it anyway.

Flight Of The Conchords fever hit the world after The Fix put them on the cover. They are still doing quite well apparently. To win a copy of series two of the show on DVD, answer the question below. Good luck!

Question 2: What is the capital of Scotland? A. Edinburgh B. Paris C. Oslo

Question 3: Mel Gibson played a Scottish hero from history in the film Braveheart. Who was it? A. Jesus B. Robbie Coltrane C. William Wallace

Answers to timatthefix@yahoo.co.uk by the 30th August

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August 2 0 0 9


> competitions

This may seem an obvious one, but remember the Scottish diet consists mainly of deep fried fat, alcohol, and depression. Get it right and you could be the proud owner of a Monty Python 40th Anniversary boxset! If a Scot ever tells you they have eaten a piece of fruit, they are probably English and are just pretending.

Question 4: What is the average life expectancy of a Scottish male? A. 9 B. 10 C. 74.8

Books to win

For your chance to win a copy of Shappi Khorsandi’s new book, ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Acting English’, answer the question below. It’s a tough one, but The Fix is sure you will cope.

Next up for grabs is a copy of ‘Shopping While Drunk’ by Simon Trewin, Tom Bromley, Amanda Astill, and Michael Moran. Answer or guess the answer to this question about theft.

Want to get your hands on a copy of ‘Friends Like These’, by the nation’s favourite everyman Danny Wallace? OK. Whatever flicks your switch. We’re not here to judge.

Question 5:

Question 6:

Question 7:

Iranian-born comic Shappi Khorsandi was born in which country?

Ronnie Biggs was convicted for his part in which famous British crime?

Which of the below is a well-known saying?

A: Iran B: Scotland

A: The great train robbery B: Benefit fraud

A: With friends like these, who needs enemies? B: I hate my friends

And last up in our swag bag for this month is a copy of ‘How To Iron Things Really Flat’ by Andrew Martin.

Question 8: Ironing has been voted the most tedious household chore by Britons, but what is the most common phobia? A: Arachnophobia (spiders) B: Lutraphobia (otters)

Answers to timatthefix@yahoo.co.uk by the 30th August

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66 page ultimate guide to t

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> EDINBURGH 2009

o the Edinburgh Festival Go to www.fixonline.com to see who’s who...

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We didn’t invent comedy

The Best of British

C


y

h

just put it in a box!

Comedy‌On DVD


> edinburgh 2009

How to use this guide Instructions:

22

Colour coded pages. Pages 73-103 Turquoise.......................1 – 6pm

If, unlike Fix editor Harry Deansway, you are going to see more than one show a day, you are going to need to know what time a show is on, so you don’t double book. The whole guide is colour coded, so just remember the following colours and you will know more about time then Stephen Hawking.

Purple...........................6 – 9pm

Indigo.........................9pm - late

> FEATURE

> FEATURE

> FIX TRICKS

Lloyd Langford’s...

You’ll like this…a lot!

Guide to understanding the blues

Pete Firman shows you how to turn water to whisky, while ripping your friends off and getting laid* into the bargain. Now that’s magic. Sort of.

Dear Kim, Hello. My name is Kim. I hope you’re enjoying this magazine. I apologise in advance about putting a bit of a dampener on things. Earlier this year, my show was performed in London. However, the theatre received a letter of complaint, which is printed below, and I felt I should somehow atone for the misery caused. I’m just trying to help. 23, Fortress Road, London, NW5 1ND

Dear Soho Theatre, Will Die’ on the 14th April I went to see ‘Kim Noble and were all very disappointed with two friends, and we Theatre would be irresponsible surprised that the Soho unwell man that is clearly mentally enough to profit from a and very unstable. Noble it is clear to me that Kim As a trainee psychiatrist, his assessment, rather than needs an urgent psychiatric held up as ‘art’ or ‘comedy’. twisted behaviour being left were disturbing and we Several parts of the show

halfway through. the wellbeing of the public, I am also concerned about with audience, who may struggle including people in the scenes of presented with graphic self-harm, and who were . xxxxxxxx, and xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx, they the police and they said Because of this, I called the local I will also be writing to would investigate, and to license the show. council about its decision helping people who are My job is to spend all day to did not appreciate having mentally unwell, so I therefore the company spending more time in pay for the privilege of for refund a I would appreciate of a disturbed individual. this man will and an assurance that the 3 tickets I bought, will not assessment and that you be getting a psychiatric shows. be staging further similar Yours sincerely, Dr. Jones

94

H

The Great Whisky and Water Swindle The Bet Get yourself two identical shot glasses and fill one to the brim with water and one to the brim with whisky. Bet some cocky looking dumb-dumb that you can get the whisky in the water glass and water in the whisky glass. Because you’re a prick, you have rules: you won’t use an extra glass, a straw, or your mouth. Let them ponder it for a while, and once they’ve put up some money you’re ready to knock their nuts off.

It was only right that I should respond to him. My letter is printed below.

Dear Dr. Jones I am so so so sorry that through my show…there you left halfway good bit just after that, was actually a which you missed. I can also assure you that didn’t (and I quote) “profitthe theatre from a man who is clearly mentally they just broke even - theunwell”. I believe smoke machine was quitecost of hiring a on the theatre’s finances. a heavy burden As a good will gesture, 4 tickets to go and see doctor, I’ve booked Ben Hur Live on the 19 September at the O2 Arena. I’ve enclosed 3 tickets for you and your friends. The fourth I will keep for myself, and look forward to meeting you have a lovely time, and there. We will you during - and I quote from can assess me epic chariot races brought the website - “the to life”. I think I’m falling in love with you, doctor. Yours forever, Kim Noble

T

he Edinburgh Festival is not all about broadening your artistic horizons, discovering the golden coconut on the comedy beach. No, if you’re doing Edinburgh right, the chances are you are reading this in a boozer right now; if it’s late, you might even have one eye closed to aid focus. Well, Captain Cyclops, here’s a way to scam some free drinks and have a laugh at the same time. It’s The Great Whisky and Water Swindle!

The Scoop This sounds impossible, and you don’t employ any of the things you banned in your opening banter. All you need is your driver’s license or a playing card, or maybe even a ticket to ‘The Pete Firman Magic Show’ (7.25pm at the Cow Barn). Place the card over the top of the shot glass containing the water, and flip that bad-boy upside down to place it on top of the whisky glass. Line up the two mouths and

ello, my name is Lloyd Langford and I’m doing a show up here called ‘Every Day I Have the Blues’. I’ve got the blues so bad it’s prevented me from learning an instrument or being able to sing. I’m always suspicious of Muddy Waters in that regard. How blue can you be with a lucrative recording contract, mastery of the slide guitar, and one of the most expressive voices in musical history? Chin up Muddy, you miserable old chuff. Anyway, I thought I’d write this guide to help you appreciate blues music, and to persuade you to stop listening to that inferior electro toss with which you are no doubt presently raping your ears with.

CAREFULLY move the card so there is a gnat’s gap between the glasses. ‘Magically’, the water and the whisky will switch glasses. Down the shot, take the money, and steal the sucker’s girlfriend/ boyfriend because you have serious skills! This one is so cool to watch, and the best part is it’s pure physics. You don’t have to sell your soul to Lucifer. The density of the water is greater than that of the whisky and, therefore, when it’s turned upside down, the water forces its way into the whisky glass, displacing the whisky and forcing it upward. Class dismissed! * The Fix cannot guarantee this aspect. What worked for us may not work for all our readership.

Dead Black Men The best blues is almost solely confined to music recorded by dead black men. Very few white men can sing or play the blues, bar Captain Beefheart, early Fleetwood Mac, five sixths of the Allman Brothers Band, and Stevie Ray Vaughn (though my favourite is Johnny Winter, an albino and has a girl’s haircut. Plenty of things to be upset about). As a general rule of thumb, one should doubt the pedigree of blues players who are Caucasian and still alive.

l The Pete Firman Magic Show is at the Cow Barn, 7.25pm, 6 - 31 August (not 17).

I am yet to hear back from him. If you have any complaints about anything in Edinburgh this year, then I suggest you come with me to see Ben Hur Live. I’ve heard its quite good. I love you all.

 

What do you think about this? E-mail us at thefixonline@gmail.com Send your letters to The Fix, 46 Aldgate High Street, Room 30, Aldgate, EC3N 1AL, London, UK

Sex Blues music is full of sex. But in the days of censorship, blues musicians had to be skilled in euphemism. Terms for sex or sexual organs include: doing the monkey; puttin’ the banana into the bowl; stuffin’ my larder; churning the butter; polishing off a lollipop; and gauging the depth of a particularly attractive well.

l Kim Nobles show, is at the Cow Barn, 7.25pm, 6 - 31 August (not 17).

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PETE FIRMIN.indd 1

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90

Blindness The ocular function of a bluesman is inversely proportionate to his skill in his chosen field. Don’t believe me? Then check out Blind Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller (who also had the disadvantage of not yet experiencing puberty), Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Snooks Eaglin, and Sonny Terry. Terry noticed a gap in the market and made the bold move of not prefacing his name with an eye-related disability. He was generally shunned* by the other blind bluesmen for this audacious departure from the accepted style.

Common Blues Problems

So there it is. I hope this has provided an enjoyable dip of the toe into the blues waters in which you will go on to fully immerse yourself and never leave. Though not drown. Maybe some sort of treading water and eating fresh fish combination which will allow you to become selfsufficient whilst retaining the logic of what is obviously a poor analogy. Have a good Fringe. Some historians dispute this, arguing that “not noticed” is a more accurate term. Almost certainly by train.

*

**

l Lloyd Langford: Every Day I Have The Blues is at the Pleasance Courtyard, 21.45, 5 – 30 August (not 18 August)

These are universal things that constantly wrestle with the soul of man. And just when you think you’ve got them beat, their friend in pink tights hits you over the head with a steel chair. They include not having enough whiskey; not having enough money; having an incurable desire to kill women; just missing a train; finding out that the train departs from a different station; general time-table reading mishaps; asking for water and being given gasoline; asking not to have sprouts and then being given sprouts; asking for directions to the Tate Britain and being pointed in the direction of the Tate Modern; your baby leaving you***; having to leave your baby; and inferior weather, particularly on the first day of the week.

www.thefixonline.com

25/07/2009 18:27

Definitive listings of all the shows featured. Page 26 You know what time the show’s on, but where is it? And how much are tickets? We’ve split our listings into three time zones for easy navigation, and made sure that you’ve got all the information you need to make your ticket purchase as smooth as possible.

www.thefixonline.com

> AUGUST 2009

> AUGUST 2009

Edinburgh time guide 2009 (afternoon) Venue

Date

Price

Telephone

Time

Act

Show title

14:55

Mick Sergeant

Lifeboat

The Stand, 5 York Place, EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-30th

£7.00

0131 558 7272

19:20

Mark Watson

The Mark Watson Edit

Assembly Rooms, 54 George St EH2 2LR

12th-13th

£15.00

0131 623 3030

Mark Watson’s Last ever 24 hour show

13:00

£5.00

0131 556 6550

£5.00

0131 226 0000

Pleasance Dome 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

17th

13:20

Mark Watson

Earth Summit

The GRV 37 Guthrie Street, EH1 1JG

23rd-30th

13:40

Delete the banjax

PBH’s Free Fringe ery day I have the blues

The White Horse, 266 Canongate, EH8 8AA

8th-11th,13th-18th, 20-29th

FREE

14:05

Rich Hall and Mike Wilmot

Campfire stories

Assembly, Royal Botanic Gardens, 20a Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR

6th-16th,18th-31st

£13.00

0131 556 6550

14:40

Eric Tales of the sea

A Submariner’s Yarn

Just The Tonic at The Caves, 253 Cowgate, EH1 1NN

7th-16th, 18th-31st

£5.00

0131 556 6550

15:30

Colin Hoult

Carnival of Monsters

Hut,The Pleasance, Courtyard,60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-31st30th

£8.50

0131 556 6550

8th-31st

£8.50

0131 556 6550

9th-30th

£8.00

Mark Watson

15:30

Adam Riches

Rogue Males

The Cellar, The Pleasance, Courtyard,60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

15:45

Kiosk of champions

Kiosk of champions

Joker Dome, Pleasance Dome, 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9TJ

£7.00

0131 226 0000

0131 556 6550

16:00

Jason Cook

The Stand, 5 York Place , EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-30th

16:30

Fergus Craig

Fergus Craig still watches neighbours

Baby Grand, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

11th-16th, 18th-31st

£8.50

0131 556 6550

16:45

Brian Gittins

Brian Gittins roadside caff owner

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

8th-11th, 13th-18th, 20th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

16:45

Johnny Sweet

Mostly about Arthur

The Cellar The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-16th, 18th-30th

£8.50

0131 556 6550

17:00

Britains best mates

Phil & Phil

Pleasance Dome, 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

Charlie Chuck

Fear

0131 226 0000

8th-9th, 11th-18th,20th-31st

£9.50

Uncle Peter and Me

The Spaces, Rutland Square, EH1 2BW

7th-29th

£8.00

0131 226 0000

17:45

Cardinal Burns

Cardinal Burns

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

8th-16th, 18th-23rd, 25th, 31st

£8.00

0131 556 6550

17:45

Simon Munnery

AGM 2009

The Stand 5, York Place, EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-31st

£8.00

0131 558 7272

17:45

Two Episodes of mash

Before and after

Over the road 3, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

7th-16th, 18th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

18:00

Sammy Jay

Sammy J 1999 009

Underbelly, 56 Cowgate, EH1 1EG

8th-16th, 18th-30th

£9.00

0844 545 8252

18:00

Tom Basden

Now that’s what I call music based comedy

Upstairs ,The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-16th, 18th-30th

£12.00

0131 556 6550

17:00

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August 2 0 0 9

E A R LY A F T E R N O O N

This is the tie guide for the afternoons of the Edinburgh Festival... This is the tie guide for the afternoons of the Edinburgh Festival...

E A R LY A F T E R N O O N

The Edinburgh festival is an unyielding, hostile terrain, with thousands of shows on offer - some good, some OK, and some bloody awful. If you don’t know what is going on, you could waste a whole afternoon locked in a basement on the Royal Mile watching Polish midgets juggling dildos. That’s where The Fix comes in - we’ve wasted a whole lot of time and money so you don’t have to. Having come to Edinburgh for the last four years, we’ve got a great understanding of how the comedy part of the festival runs. All the other world theatre and dance crap we don’t have a clue, but comedy we’ve got sorted. We’ve selected a finite amount of shows, and have built the guide around that. We’ve selected what we feel are the best comedy shows at the festival. In our opinion, if you go and see any of the shows mentioned in the magazine, you won’t be disappointed. We haven’t managed to cover everything of importance, as that would take far too much money and paper, but we’ve covered most if it. So whether you’re a festival novice who’s looking for some helpful guidance, or a fringe veteran who just wants to read The Fix, stroking their beard over a cappuccino in The Meadows, The Fix guide has got something for everyone.

0131 556 6550

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August 2 0 0 9


Map of Edinburgh. Page 30 Picture the accuracy of google maps. Recreate that accuracy with a crayon, and you have The Fix Map of Edinburgh.

A selection of the best venues for comedy on the Fringe. Page 34 Fuck this walking around lark. I’m just going to stay at the venue that best suits my personality. I’m not going to move. I’m just going to see shows at this venue. Well, fat/lazy/arrogant/disabled person, you need the ‘What Venue Are You?’ guide, as we’ve worked out the exact personality complex you need to enjoy each venue.

> FEATURE

WHICH VENUE ARE YOU?

With so many acts to choose from, why not instead pick what show you go and see by which venue best suits your character and personality. THE £5 FRINGE l You have five pounds. YOU ARE THE £5 FRINGE. Various venues. www.gsohcomedy. co.uk/fivepoundfringe/

THE GUILDED BALLOON l You are drunk. l You don’t even know what you just paid £18.50 for the pleasure of shouting through. l You have just taken a business call whilst taking a muffled dump. YOU ARE THE GILDED BALLOON. 13 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL www. gildedballoon.co.uk or (0131) 668 1633

32

THE UNDERBELLY

C VENUES l You have compromised your dreams. l You have compromised your goals. l You like watching 14year olds in fishnets and thongs fuck pillars whilst expressing themselves through the art of vodka. l You have not seen a single show in 24 days.

l You have lost sight of why you are at the International Fringe Festival. YOU ARE C VENUES. Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HT www.cvenues.com or (0845) 260 1234

THE PLEASANCE You think you’re cutting edge. You think you’re the future. You think you know it all. l You don’t. l You’ll watch what you’re told to watch you despicable plasticinebrained cock puke of a human being. YOU ARE THE PLEASANCE. www.pleasance.co.uk Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ (0131) 556 6550 Pleasance Dome, l l l

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THE STAND l You hate laughter and you don’t mind paying for it. l You’re a size zero and you wear cardigans and Y-fronts because it makes your dick look intelligent. l You are cleverer than anyone else you have ever met. l You smoke a pipe and call your pecker Rufus. YOU ARE THE STAND. Various: www.thestand. co.uk (0131) 558 7272 Stand One – Venue 5, 5 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EB Stand Two – Venue 5, 16 North St Andrew Street, EH2 1HJ Stand Three – Venue 12, 28 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3EP Stand Four – Venue 12, 28 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3EP

l You have not slept in four days. l You are off your tits on Temazepam. l Look up. Yes, look up now. You want to fuck her/him right now, don’t you? l Well, fuck off, you’re too old and it will never happen. YOU ARE THE UNDERBELLY. Various, www.underbelly.co.uk/ webpages/edinburgh/venues. php Underbelly, 56 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG (0870) 745 3083 Underbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL (0844) 5458252 Underbelly’s Hullabaloo, George Square Gardens, EH8 9LH (0844) 5458252

FREE FRINGE

THE ASSEMBLY Potterow Student Union, Bristo Square, EH8 9AL (0131) 556 6550 George Square, EH8 9LD (0131) 622 8740 McEwan Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 (0131) 650 2427

THE CAVES l You are scared and confused. YOU ARE THE CAVES. The Caves, 8-12 Niddry Street South, Edinburgh, EH1 1NS www. thecaves edinburgh.com or (0131) 557 8989

l You are cold. l You are wet. l You are tight. l Live Art is your Cathedral. As such, Suggested Donations are for cock suckers. l You are filled with nothing but contempt and disdain for those that attempt to follow their dreams, and find watching them try a hilarious embarrassment. l Your soul is dead. YOU ARE THE FREE FRINGE. Various venues. freefringe. org.uk/ for details.

l You have pre-booked all your shows. l You are sick of looking at poor people. l You are baffled by the excessive lack of carpeting and polished door handles throughout Edinburgh. l You wish people would call you ‘Emperor’. YOU ARE THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS www.

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Which venue are you??2.indd 1-2

Time management. Page 32 You want to book three shows, but they are all really close together, timewise. Are you going to be able to get to all three in time, or are the venues going to be too far apart? The tension! With our time management guide, you can book efficiently and still get to the next show with time for a pint or a deep fried Mars Bar.

ACTS and pages

33 21/07/2009 22:41

> FEATURE

VEnUE TimE mAnAgEmEnT

Pleasance Courtyard

If you want to experience the Edinburgh Festival properly, you need to be booking tickets for at least four shows a day. Making sure you make it along to the right show at the right time involves complex time management skills. The following list gives you an estimate on the time it takes to walk from the venue you are at to the venue you are going to. The times do not allow for getting lost or tourists stopping in the street to take a picture of a street entertainer.

60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ (0131) 556 6550 www.pleasance.co.uk Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues - 5-10

Pleasance Dome

The Assembly Rooms 54 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LR www.assembly roomsedinburgh.co.uk or (0131) 623 3030 C Venues - 15 minutes

C Venues Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HT www.cvenues.com or (0845) 260 1234 Assembly Rooms - 15 minutes The Caves – 2 minutes Gilded Balloon - 5 minutes

32

The Caves – 15 minutes Gilded Balloon - 1520 minutes GRV -15 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 15-20 minutes Pleasance Dome 15-20 minutes Underbelly - 15 minutes Underbelly Pasture -15-20 minutes The Stand- 5-10 minutes

GRV - 2 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 Pleasance Dome – 5 minutes Underbelly – 2 minutes Underbelly Pasture 5 minutes The Stand – 15 minutes

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The Caves 8-12 Niddry Street South, Edinburgh, EH1 1NS www. thecavesedinburgh.com or (0131) 557 8989

The Gilded Balloon 13 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL www.gildedballoon. co.uk or (0131) 668 1633

Assembly Rooms 15 minutes C Venues – 2 minutes Gilded Balloon 5 minutes GRV - 2 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 Pleasance Dome – 5 minutes Underbelly – 2 minutes Underbelly pasture 5 minutes The Stand – 15 minutes

Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues -5 minutes The Caves – 5 minutes GRV - 5 minutes Pleasance Courtyard – 5 minutes Pleasance Dome 2 minutes Underbelly – 5 minutes Underbelly Pasture 2 minutes The Stand – 20-25 minutes

August 2 0 0 9

Potterow Student Union, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL (0131) 556 6550 www.pleasance.co.uk Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues - 5 minutes The Caves - 5 minutes Gilded Balloon - 2 minutes GRV - 5 minutes

The Stand Stand One Venue 5, 5 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EB (0131) 558 7272 www.thestand.co.uk Assembly Rooms - 10 minutes C venues 15 minutes The Caves – 15 minutes Gilded Balloon 20-25 minutes GRV - 15 minutes

August 2 0 0 9

minutes The Caves - 5-10 minutes Gilded Balloon 5-10 minutes GRV - 5-10 minutes Pleasance Dome 5-10 minutes Underbelly - 5-10 minutes Underbelly Pasture 5-10 minutes The Stand - 20-25 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5 minutes Underbelly - 5 minutes Underbelly Pasture 2 minutes The Stand - 20-25 minutes See also: George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LD (0131) 622 8740 McEwan Hall, Bristo Square,Edinburgh, EH8 (0131) 650 2427

Pleasance Courtyard - 20-25 minutes Pleasance Dome 20-25 minutes Underbelly - allow 15 minutes Underbelly Pasture 20-25 minutes

See also: Stand Two – Venue 5, 16 North St Andrew Street, EH2 1HJ Stand Three – Venue 12, 28 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3EP Stand Four – Venue 12, 28 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3EP

Underbelly’s Hullabaloo George Square Gardens, EH8 9LH (0844) 5458252 www.underbelly.co.uk/

Underbelly 56 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG (0870) 745 3083 www.underbelly.co.uk/ webpages/edinburgh/ venues.php Assembly Rooms -15 C Venues - 2 minutes The Caves - 2 minutes

Underbelly’s Pasture Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL (0844) 5458252 www.underbelly.co.uk/ webpages/edinburgh/ venues.php Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues - 5 minutes The Caves - 5 minutes

webpages/edinburgh/ venues.php By the time you end up here, you will be either drunk or on drugs, so The Fix cannot account for how long it will take you to get to any venue. It’s quite near Bristo Square, if that helps. Gilded Balloon - 5-10 minutes GRV - 2 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 minutes Pleasance Dome 5-10 minutes Underbelly Pasture 5-10 minutes The Stand -15 minutes Gilded Balloon 2 minutes GRV - 5 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5 minutes Pleasance Dome 2 minutes Underbelly 5 minutes Underbelly Pasture 2 minutes The Stand - 20-25 min

GRV (£5 Fringe) Gilded Balloon - 5 mins www.gsohcomedy.co.uk/ Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 fivepoundfringe Pleasance Dome – 5 mins Assembly Rooms -15 min Underbelly – 2 minutes C Venues – 2 minutes Underbelly Pasture - 5 The Caves – 2 minutes The Stand – 15 minutes The Free Fringe There are so many venues in the Free Fringe that to list the distances between each venue would take thousands of pages and single-handedly wipe out the rainforest. See: http://freefringe.org.uk/ for details. About the Free Fringe, not the rainforest.

33

Andrew O’Neill 44 Anna and Katy 47 Andrew Lawrence 39, 91 Brian Gittins 42, 84 Britain’s Best Mates 42, 78 Cardinal Burns 38, 80 Carl Donnelly39 Charlie Chuck 46 Clive James 46 Colin Hoult 42 Daniel Rigby 60 Danielle Ward 47 Delete the Banjax38 Edward Aczel 48 Elis James 40 Eric’s Tales of the Sea 48 Fergus Craig 45 George Ryegold 60 Glenn Wool 45 Hatty Ashdown 60 Ivan Brackenbury 4 Janeane Garofolo 47Jason Cook 45 Jerry Sadowitz 46John Gordillo 44, 98John Hegley 88Jonny Sweet 4Kevin Bridges 40 Kim Noble 82Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunhouler 42 Lloyd Langford 40, 75 Mark Thomas 46 Mark Watson 44 Mick Sergeant 43 Micky Flanagan 39 Nick Helm79 Paul Foot94 Pappy’s Fun Club 43 Patrick Monohan 40 Penny Dreadfuls 38Pete Firman 48, 51Rhod Gilbert39 Rhys Darby 39Rich Hall 46Richard Sandling/ Kiosk of Champions 38Ross Lee 40 Simon Amstell 44 Simon Munnery 47Stephen Carlin 39, 76Stephen K. Amos60Stewart Lee 47Stuart Goldsmith/Kiosk of Champions 38 Sunday Defensive 60 Tiernan Douieb 8 3Tim Key 48,77 Tom Basden 42 Tom Wrigglesworth 45 Trevor Lock 43Two Episodes of Mash 38 We Are Klang 102 Wil Hodgson William Andrews 86

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> AUGUST 2009

Edinburgh time guide 2 E A R LY A F T E R N O O N

If you’re up at this time, then you didn’t have a good enough time Time

Act

Show title

14:55

Mick Sergeant

Lifeboat

43

19:20

Mark Watson

The Mark Watson Edit

44

13:00

Mark Watson

Mark Watson’s Last ever 24 hour show

44

13:20

Mark Watson

Earth Summit

44

13:40

Delete the banjax

PBH’s Free Fringe

34

14:05

Rich Hall and Mike Wilmot

Campfire stories

46

14:40

Eric Tales of the sea

A Submariner’s Yarn

48

15:30

Colin Hoult

Carnival of Monsters

48

15:30

Adam Riches

Rogue Males

15:45

Kiosk of champions

Kiosk of champions

48

16:00

Jason Cook

Fear

48

16:30

Fergus Craig

Fergus Craig still watches neighbours

16:45

Brian Gittins

Brian Gittins roadside caff owner

16:45

Johnny Sweet

Mostly about Arthur

17:00

Britains best mates

Phil & Phil

17:00

Charlie Chuck

Uncle Peter and Me

17:45

Cardinal Burns

Cardinal Burns

17:45

Simon Munnery

AGM 2009

47

17:45

Two Episodes of mash

Before and after

38

18:00

Sammy Jay

Sammy J 1999

-

18:00

Tom Basden

Now that’s what I call music based comedy

24

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-

42,78 46 38,80 47 38, 80

42

August 2 0 0 9

la


> AUGUST 2009

e 2009 (afternoon)

e

84

78

80

last night. Pledge to work harder today, starting now. Venue

Date

Price

Telephone

The Stand, 5 York Place, EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-30th

£7.00

0131 558 7272

Assembly Rooms, 54 George St EH2 2LR

12th-13th

£15.00

0131 623 3030

Pleasance Dome 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

17th

£5.00

0131 556 6550

The GRV 37 Guthrie Street, EH1 1JG

23rd-30th

£5.00

0131 226 0000

The White Horse, 266 Canongate, EH8 8AA

8th-11th,13th-18th, 20-29th

FREE

0131 226 0000

Assembly, Royal Botanic Gardens, 20a Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR

6th-16th,18th-31st

£13.00

0131 556 6550

Just The Tonic at The Caves, 253 Cowgate, EH1 1NN

7th-16th, 18th-31st

£5.00

0131 556 6550

Hut,The Pleasance, Courtyard,60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-31st30th

£8.50

0131 556 6550

The Cellar, The Pleasance, Courtyard,60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

8th-31st

£8.50

0131 556 6550

Joker Dome, Pleasance Dome, 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9TJ

9th-30th

£8.00

0131 556 6550

The Stand, 5 York Place , EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-30th

£7.00

0131 226 0000

Baby Grand, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

11th-16th, 18th-31st

£8.50

0131 556 6550

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ 8th-11th, 13th-18th, 20th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

The Cellar The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-16th, 18th-30th

£8.50

0131 556 6550

Pleasance Dome, 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

8th-9th, 11th-18th,20th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

The Spaces, Rutland Square, EH1 2BW

7th-29th

£8.00

0131 226 0000

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

8th-16th, 18th-23rd, 25th, 31st

£8.00

0131 556 6550

The Stand 5, York Place, EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-31st

£8.00

0131 558 7272

Over the road 3, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

7th-16th, 18th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

Underbelly, 56 Cowgate, EH1 1EG

8th-16th, 18th-30th

£9.00

0844 545 8252

Upstairs ,The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-16th, 18th-30th

£12.00

0131 556 6550

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E A R LY A F T E R N O O N

me


> AUGUST 2009

(early evening)

Political prisoners have survived for over 70 days without food, which means

E A R LY E V E N I N G

v

Time

Act

Pages

Show title

18:15

Mark Thomas

The Manifesto

46

21:15

Anna and Katy

Anna and Katy

47

18:40

Ivan Brackenbury

Ivan Brackenburys all new hospital radio show

43

19:00

Ross Lee

Not a lot of sex lies and video tape

40

19:00

Tom Wrigglesworth

open return letter to Richard Branson

45

19:20

Pappy’s fun club

World record attempt 200 sketches in an hour

43

19:20

Stephen Carlin

Stephen Carlin blows the lid off the whole filthy buisness

39,76

19:25

Pete Firman

The Pete Firman magic show

48,51

19:25

Ed Aczel

explains all the worlds problems and then solves them

48

19:30

Sarah Millican

Typical woman

-

19:45

Stewart Lee

If you prefer a milder comedian, please ask for one

47

20:00

Trevor Lock

The One and the Many

43

20:00

Dylan Moran

What it is

-

20:20

John Gordillo

Fuckanomics

44,98

20:20

Elis James

The most cautious little boy in Wales

40

20:20

Wil Hodgson

Punk folk tales

48

20:30

Clive James

More to say

46

20:30

Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo

47

20:30

Penny Dreadfulls

The Penny dreadfuls present.. the never man

39

20:40

Mickey Flanagan

Spiel

38

20:40

Simon Amstell

Do nothing

39

20:45

Kevin Bridges

An hour to sing for your soul

40

20:45

Rhod Gilbert

Rhod Gilbert and the cat looked like Nicholas Lyndhurst

39

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August 2 0 0 9

yo


you can do a mere month. Skip lunch and dinner and watch some more shows. Venue

Date

Price

Telephone

The Stand 5, York Place, EH1 3EB

5th-11th, 13th-18th

£12.00

0131 558 7272

Over the road, 2 The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

Cabaret Bar, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

10th-17th, 19th-1st Sep

£9.50

0131 556 6550

The Attic, Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-16th, 18th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

£9.00

0131 556 6550

The Pleasance 1, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-17th, 19th-30th 9th-31st

£13.00

0131 556 6550

The Stand 5, York Place, EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-30th

£7.00

0131 558 7272

Underbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

8th-16th, 18th-31st

£13.50

0844 545 8252

Underbelly, 56 Cowgate, EH1 1EG

8th-30th

£8.50

0844 545 8252

Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance ,EH8 9TJ

8th-11th, 13th-30th

£10.00

0131 556 6550

The Stand 5, York Place, EH1 3EB

7th-16th, 18th-30th

£10.00

0131 558 7272

The GRV, 37 Guthrie Street, EH1 1JG

8th-16th, 18th-23rd, 25th-30th

£5.00

0131 226 0000

Play House, 18-22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA

10th-11th

£20.00

0131 623 3030

Pleasance Dome 1, Bristo Square EH8 9AL

9th-31st

£10.00

0131 556 6550

The GRV, 37 Guthrie Street, EH11JG

8th-18th, 20th-30th

£5.00

0131 226 0000

Queen Dome, Pleasance Dome, 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9A

9th-16th, 18th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

Debating Hall, Gilded Baloon Teviot , 13 Bristo Square, EH8 9AJ

16th-21st

£13.00

0131 622 6552

Debating Hall, Gilded Baloon Teviot, 13 Bristo Square, EH8 9AJ

6th-15th

£12.00

0131 622 6552

The Pleasance 2, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

8th-14th, 16th-21st, 23rd-31st

£10.00

0131 556 6550

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

9th-30th

£11.50

0131 556 6550

The Bongo Club, 37 Holyrood Road, EH8 8BA

14th-30th

£14.00

0131 556 6550

Joker Dome, 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

9th-16th, 18th-31st

£10.00

0131 556 6550

The Pleasance 1, The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ3AA

8th-11th, 13th-18th, 20th-31st

£14.00

0131 556 6550

Baby Grand,The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ

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E A R LY E V E N I N G

ans

> AUGUST 2009


> AUGUST 2009

(late night)

Remember, though, you can’t survive more than a few days without alcohol. This

E A R LY E V E N I N G

Time

Page

Act

Show title

21:05

Carl Donnelly

Relax everyone it Carl Donnelly

39

21:15

Patrick Monahan

Cowboys and Iraniansc

40

21:35

Andrew Lawrence

Soul Crushing vicissitudes of fortune

39,91

21.25

Glenn Wool

Let your hands go

46

21.45

Lloyd Langford

Every day I have the blues

40,75

21.45

Danielle ward

Lies

45

21.50

Tim key

Slutcracker

48,77

22.00

Ben Dover

Innocent till proven filthy

-

22.05

Kristen Schaal

Double down hearts

42

22.00

Rhys Darby

Its Rhys Darby Night

39

22.15

George Ryegold

Trample the weak hurdle the dead

60

22.20

Andrew Oneill

Ocult comedian

44

22.30

Rich Hall

Campfire stories

46

23.00

Jerry Sadowitz

Comedian, Magician, Psychopath 2009

46

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is


1

5

7

is the business end of the day, so keep a supply on hand at all times. Venue

Date

Price

Telephone

Underbelly, 56 Cowgate, EH1 1EG

8th-16th, 18th-30th

£9.00

0844 545 8252

Gilded Baloon, Teviot 13 Bristo Square, EH8 9AJ

9th-12th, 14th-19th, 21st-31st

£9.50

0131 622 6552

Pleasance Dome, 1 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

8th-30th

£10.00

0131 556 6550

Underbelly’s,Hullabaloo George Square, Gardens, EH8 9LD

8th-17th, 19th-31st

£14.00

0844 545 8252

£8.50

0131 556 6550

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8

9th-17th, 19th-30th 9th-17th, 19th-30th

£8.50

0131 556 6550

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8

7th-16th, 18th-31st

£9.50

0131 556 6550

Underbelly, 56 Cowgate, EH1 1EG

8th-16th, 18th-30th

£9.00

0844 545 8252

Assembly Hall, Mound Place, EH1 2LU

21st-30th

£13.00

0131 623 3030

Underbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, EH8 9AL

6th-15th

£15.00

0844 545 8252

Club Medina,45-4 Lothian Street, EH1

7th-10th, 12th-17th, 19th-24th, 26th-30th

£5.00

0131 226 0000

Tron Tavern,9 Hunter Square, EH1 1QW

8th-16th, 18th-23rd, 25th-30th

£5.00

0131 226 0000

Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, EH2

6th-16th, 18th-31st

£12.00

0131 623 3030

Play House, 18-22 Greenside Place, EH1

29th Aug

£24.50

0844 847 1660

The Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, EH8

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E A R LY E V E N I N G

his

> AUGUST 2009


> edinburgh MAP 2009

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> FEATURE

Venue time management

If you want to experience the Edinburgh Festival properly, you need to be booking tickets for at least four shows a day. Making sure you make it along to the right show at the right time involves complex time management skills. The following list gives you an estimate on the time it takes to walk from the venue you are at to the venue you are going to. The times do not allow for getting lost or tourists stopping in the street to take a picture of a street entertainer.

The Assembly Rooms 54 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LR www.assembly roomsedinburgh.co.uk or (0131) 623 3030 C Venues - 15 minutes The Caves – 15 minutes

C Venues Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HT www.cvenues.com or (0845) 260 1234 Assembly Rooms - 15 minutes The Caves – 2 minutes Gilded Balloon - 5 minutes

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Gilded Balloon - 1520 minutes GRV -15 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 15-20 minutes Pleasance Dome 15-20 minutes Underbelly - 15 minutes Underbelly Pasture -15-20 minutes The Stand- 5-10 mins

GRV - 2 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 Pleasance Dome – 5 minutes Underbelly – 2 minutes Underbelly Pasture 5 minutes The Stand – 15 minutes

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The Caves 8-12 Niddry Street South, Edinburgh, EH1 1NS www. thecavesedinburgh.com or (0131) 557 8989

The Gilded Balloon 13 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL www.gildedballoon. co.uk or (0131) 668 1633

Assembly Rooms 15 minutes C Venues – 2 minutes Gilded Balloon 5 minutes GRV - 2 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 Pleasance Dome – 5 minutes Underbelly – 2 minutes Underbelly pasture 5 minutes The Stand – 15 minutes

Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues -5 minutes The Caves – 5 minutes GRV - 5 minutes Pleasance Courtyard – 5 minutes Pleasance Dome 2 minutes Underbelly – 5 minutes Underbelly Pasture 2 minutes The Stand – 20-25 minutes

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Pleasance Courtyard 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ (0131) 556 6550 www.pleasance.co.uk Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues - 5-10

Pleasance Dome Potterow Student Union, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL (0131) 556 6550 www.pleasance.co.uk Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues - 5 minutes The Caves - 5 minutes Gilded Balloon - 2 minutes GRV - 5 minutes

The Stand Stand One Venue 5, 5 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EB (0131) 558 7272 www.thestand.co.uk Assembly Rooms - 10 minutes C venues 15 minutes The Caves – 15 minutes Gilded Balloon 20-25 minutes GRV - 15 minutes

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minutes The Caves - 5-10 minutes Gilded Balloon 5-10 minutes GRV - 5-10 minutes Pleasance Dome 5-10 minutes Underbelly - 5-10 minutes Underbelly Pasture 5-10 minutes The Stand - 20-25 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5 minutes Underbelly - 5 minutes Underbelly Pasture 2 minutes The Stand - 20-25 minutes See also: George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LD (0131) 622 8740 McEwan Hall, Bristo Square,Edinburgh, EH8 (0131) 650 2427

Pleasance Courtyard - 20-25 minutes Pleasance Dome 20-25 minutes Underbelly - allow 15 minutes Underbelly Pasture 20-25 minutes

See also: Stand Two – Venue 5, 16 North St Andrew Street, EH2 1HJ Stand Three – Venue 12, 28 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3EP Stand Four – Venue 12, 28 York Place Edinburgh, EH1 3EP

Underbelly’s Hullabaloo George Square Gardens, EH8 9LH (0844) 5458252 www.underbelly.co.uk/

Underbelly 56 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG (0870) 745 3083 www.underbelly.co.uk/ webpages/edinburgh/ venues.php Assembly Rooms -15 C Venues - 2 minutes The Caves - 2 minutes

Underbelly’s Pasture Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL (0844) 5458252 www.underbelly.co.uk/ webpages/edinburgh/ venues.php Assembly Rooms 15-20 minutes C Venues - 5 minutes The Caves - 5 minutes

GRV (£5 Fringe) www.gsohcomedy.co.uk/ fivepoundfringe Assembly Rooms -15 min C Venues – 2 minutes The Caves – 2 minutes

webpages/edinburgh/ venues.php By the time you end up here, you will be either drunk or on drugs, so The Fix cannot account for how long it will take you to get to any venue. It’s quite near Bristo Square, if that helps. Gilded Balloon - 5-10 minutes GRV - 2 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 minutes Pleasance Dome 5-10 minutes Underbelly Pasture 5-10 minutes The Stand -15 minutes Gilded Balloon 2 minutes GRV - 5 minutes Pleasance Courtyard - 5 minutes Pleasance Dome 2 minutes Underbelly 5 minutes Underbelly Pasture 2 minutes The Stand - 20-25 min

Gilded Balloon - 5 mins Pleasance Courtyard - 5-10 Pleasance Dome – 5 mins Underbelly – 2 minutes Underbelly Pasture - 5 The Stand – 15 minutes

The Free Fringe There are so many venues in the Free Fringe that to list the distances between each venue would take thousands of pages and single-handedly wipe out the rainforest. See: http://freefringe.org.uk/ for details. About the Free Fringe, not the rainforest.

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> FEATURE

Which venue are you?

With so many acts to choose from, why not instead pick what show you go and see by which venue best suits your character and personality. C VENUES The £5 fringe l You have five pounds. You are the £5 Fringe. Various venues. www.gsohcomedy. co.uk/fivepoundfringe/

The guilded balloon You are drunk. l You don’t even know what you just paid £18.50 for the pleasure of shouting through. l You have just taken a business call whilst taking a muffled dump. You are The Gilded Balloon. www. gildedballoon. co.uk or (0131) 668 1633 l

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You have compromised your dreams. l You have compromised your goals. l You like watching 14year olds in fishnets and thongs fuck pillars whilst expressing themselves through the art of vodka. l

l You have not seen a single show in 24 days. l You have lost sight of why you are at the International Fringe Festival. You are C Venues. www.cvenues.com or (0845) 260 1234

The pleasance You think you’re cutting edge. l You think you’re the future. l You think you know it all. l You don’t. l You’ll watch what you’re told to watch you despicable plasticinebrained cock puke of a human being. You are The Pleasance. www.pleasance.co.uk l

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The underbelly l You have not slept in four days. l You are off your tits on Temazepam. l Look up. Yes, look up now. You want to fuck her/him right now, don’t you? l Well, fuck off, you’re too old and it will never happen. You are the Underbelly. Various, www.underbelly.co.uk/ webpages/edinburgh/venues. php Underbelly, 56 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG (0870) 745 3083 Underbelly’s Pasture, Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL (0844) 5458252 Underbelly’s Hullabaloo, George Square Gardens, EH8 9LH (0844) 5458252

The stand l You hate laughter and you don’t mind paying for it. l You’re a size zero and you wear cardigans and Y-fronts because it makes your dick look intelligent. l You are cleverer than anyone else you have ever met. l You smoke a pipe and call your pecker Rufus. You are The Stand. Various: www.thestand. co.uk (0131) 558 7272

The assembly

free fringe l You

are cold. are wet. l You are tight. l Live Art is your Cathedral. As such, Suggested Donations are for cock suckers. l You are filled with nothing but contempt and disdain for those that attempt to follow their dreams, and find watching them try a hilarious embarrassment. l Your soul is dead. You are the Free Fringe. Various venues. freefringe. org.uk/ for details. l You

The caves l You are scared and confused. You are the Caves. www.thecaves edinburgh.com or (0131) 557 8989

l You have pre-booked all your shows. l You are sick of looking at poor people. l You are baffled by the excessive lack of carpeting and polished door handles throughout Edinburgh. l You wish people would call you ‘Emperor’. You are the Assembly Rooms www.assemblyrooms edinburgh.co.uk or (0131) 623 3030

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ComedyFixAd_07.09.indd 1

27/7/09 13:20:11


> T HE F IX 5 0

50 The Fix

The 50 Comedians You Must See In Edinburgh

W

ith over 500 comedy shows to chose from, it can be hard to pick the right show to go and see. Yes… part of the fun of the Fringe is taking a risk, but just think, you could have spent that £12 on three pints instead of listening to an Oxbridge twat playing a Key:

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drunk children’s entertainer, or some self-indulgent arsehole doing a routine about British Rail sandwiches. With The Fix 50, an ill-informed decision on a show is a thing of the past. These are the 50 best shows to see at the Fringe. If it’s not in The Fix 50, it’s not at the Fringe! >

✪ : Afternoon ✪: Evening ✪ : Late Night

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> The FIX 50

Sketch comedy This is where 2 - 6 people perform sketches, sometimes with music. Richard Sandling and Stuart Goldsmith: Kiosk of Champions 2

Two Episodes of Mash Comedy fans expecting a double bill of the hit Vietnam War-based sitcom should brace themselves for a little disappointment. However, comedy fans looking for one of the fastest rising and most enjoyable duos will find Diane Morgan and Joe Wilkinson anything but disappointing. ✪ Find Two Episodes of Mash at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 5.45pm, on 5-31 August (not 17).

Cardinal Burns

Richard Sandling and Stuart Goldsmith: Kiosk of Champions 2 Somewhere in a kiosk far far away, two guys embarked on a series of ridiculous adventures, most of them quite nerdy but all of them very funny. Now prepare yourself for the sequel. Rich Sandling and Stuart Goldsmith are back with even more ridiculousness in this lo-fi, high-laugh sketch show. ✪ These sexy boys will be at the Pleasance Dome, at 3.45pm, on 5-30 August (not 19).

Delete the Banjax With its ‘interesting’ booking policy, the Free Fringe is a high risk strategy for any punter. Yes, the show is free, but the price is an hour of your time that you could be spending throttling bagpipe players or masturbating. A risk worth taking is Delete

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the Banjax’s show; with their madcap antics and truly original sketches, you’ll be offering to pay the full price on this one – that’s free by the way. ✪ Delete the Banjax will be at the White Horse, at 1.40pm, on 8-29 August (not 12 or 19).

Penny Dreadfuls: The Never Man Moving on from the Victorian era, the Penny Dreadfuls return with more whimsical sketches and stories. Set on the mysterious Beef Island, The Never Man is like a twisted stand-off between Austin Powers and Dr. Moreau in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. And there aren’t many shows we can say that about. ✪ The Never Man will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 8.30pm, on 5-31 August (not 15 or 22).

It’s hard to ignore the devil in the detail of Cardinal Burns’ expertly crafted sketches that manage to combine well-written observation with downright silliness and fart jokes. Not just talented writers, they are also natural performers whose show will leave you with tears running down your face and a bellyache from laughing. ✪ Catch Cardinal Burns at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 5.45pm, on 5-31 August (not 17 or 24).


Stand-up

It’s Rhys Darby Night

You know what this is; one man, one microphone, and some jokes. Rhys Darby: It’s Rhys Darby Night. Darby, probably best known for his role as Murray the hapless manager in Flight of the Conchords, returns to the Fringe where he made his name years ago. He peppers his tales of childhood in New Zealand with sound effects which add a homespun quality to his pathos-laden anecdotes of social ostracism. Common territory with the subject matter, but with Darby’s charm and beat boxing skills, this is a must-have ticket for the festival. ✪ Rhys Darby will be at the Underbelly, at 10pm, on 6-15 August.

that they teeter on surreal. It is this that makes him such an originally engaging, hilarious voice. ✪ Stephen Carlin will be at the Stand 4, at 7.20pm, on 7-30 August (not 17). Carl Donnelly

Micky Flanagan With the gift of the gab, Micky is a great act to spend an hour with at the Fringe. A thoroughbred cockney, his comedy is anecdotebased, sprinkled with wry, cheeky chappy observations. Both charming and funny in equal measures. ✪ Micky Flanagan will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 8.40pm, on 5-30 August (not 18).

Stephen Carlin It is a well-known fact amongst comedy aficionados that if you want observational humour, you have to go to the States, where it is done with humour, rhythm, and panache. UK observational humour is usually a pale imitation, except where comic pedant Stephen Carlin is involved. The Glaswegian is an expert at pointless quibbles that are often so obscure and futile

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Rhod Gilbert and the Cat That Looked Like Nicolas Lyndhurst Rhod nearly won the main prize at last year’s festival. Whether he can better that this year or not remains to be seen, but he certainly takes the title for Best Show Name. Apparently, work is already underway on the follow-up show: The Budgie That Bore A Passing Resemblance To Buster Merryfield. ✪ Rhod Gilbert performs at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 8.45pm, on 5-31 August (not 12 or 19).

Andrew Lawrence: Soul Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune!

Carl Donnelly: Relax Everyone, It’s Carl Donnelly. Relax everyone, it’s Carl Donnelly, one of the most capable performers on the circuit. It’s impossible not to like Carl Donnelly - he’s warm, funny, and very talented. On closer inspection, he actually sounds like a c*nt. ✪ Carl Donnelly will be at the Underbelly, at 9.05pm, on 6-30 August (not 17).

While not exactly a title that trips off the tongue, Soul Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune should still prove a real treat. Andrew Lawrence has established himself as a purveyor of pitch-black brilliance, and Soul Crushing... is no different. Andrew argues that everything in life comes down to chance, timing, opportunity, environment, genetics, and that - whether you’re homeless or a multimillionaire - you’re a fool if you think otherwise. ✪ Find Andrew Lawrence at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 9.35pm, on 5-30 August (not 19).

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> THE FIX 50

Hot new talent Impress friends and family by saying you saw them before they were famous. Ross Lee

Show, you are going to have to be a pretty miserable c*nt not to be won over by this natural entertainer. ✪ Patrick will be at the Gilded Balloon, at 9.15pm, on 7-31 August (not 13 or 20).

Jonny Sweet: Mostly About Arthur

Ross Lee: Not A Lot Of Sex, Lies and Videotape. It is often said about an artist that they are original, and perhaps they are; but if you see a more original act on the Fringe this year than TV’s Ross Lee, The Fix will refund you the cost of this mag. All his life, he has wanted to be famous, and as his dream starts to come true ten years too late, this show tells you the story of that journey. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll watch from behind your hands, but most importantly you’ll go on an incredible passage of amusement. ✪ Find TV’s Ross Lee at the Pleasance Dome, at 7pm, on 5-27 August (not 17) and 31 August.

Having appeared in last year’s highly-rated, highly-imaginative The Meeting with his House of Windsor cohorts (and Inbetweeners stars) Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, Jonny Sweet is back with his debut solo show. Mostly About Arthur is the story of his late brother Arthur, told with the aid of video, PowerPoint, and a two minute biopic play. ✪ Mostly About Arthur will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 4.45pm, on 5-30 August (not 17). .

Elis James: The Most Cautious Little Boy in Wales

Kevin Bridges: An Hour to Sing For Your Soul

With more energy than a four year old on orange squash, Patrick Monahan is Saturday night entertainment personified. Now a firm housewives’ favorite thanks to his stint on The Paul O’Grady

Picture the scene for a moment: you’re an up-and-coming comedian who gets asked to open a new primetime TV comedy showcase. Great. Then within days your Edinburgh shows have

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Lloyd Langford: Every Day I Have the Blues Welsh wunderkind Lloyd is a master at eking out humour from absolutely any situation. The Nevermind the Buzzcocks (and Fix) writer does another grand job in his new show about getting older and his love of the Blues. ✪ Lloyd will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 9.45pm, 5-30 August (not 18) Lloyd Langford

The affable, rambling raconteur throws caution to the wind and gets back to Edinburgh with a new show. While many will know him as the bilingual comic sidekick to Rhod Gilbert on BBC Radio Wales, Elis seems destined to step out of the shadow and become a star himself. ✪ Catch Elis at GRV, at 8.20pm, 6-30 August (not 19).

Patrick Monahan: Cowboys and Iranians.

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sold out and you’re adding extra dates to cope with the demand for tickets. The undoubted - if unexpected - hit of Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Kevin Bridges brings his debut show to the Fringe. ✪ Kevin will be at the Pleasance Dome, at 8.45pm, on 5-31 August (not 17).

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> T H E F I X 50

Musical comedy and character acts Hey, who are these crazy characters???????? of. In a show of perfectly pitched tragicomedy about friendship, this will leave you both laughing and cringing in equal measures. ✪ Britain’s Best Mates will be at the Pleasance Dome, at 5pm, on 5-31 August (not 10 or 19).

Colin Hoult’s Carnival of Monsters Brian Gittens

Having previously done the Fringe with Zimbani and his double act partner (and Neighbours watcher) Fergus Craig, Colin Hoult goes

Brian Gittins: Roadside Café Owner It’s always good to have something to fall back on, and ‘restaurateur’ is always a good one to go back to. Not that Gittins will need to, because this comedy thing seems to be going quite well. Having already opened for Ricky Gervais, amongst others, Gittins is one of the most original characters you can expect to see at the festival. Gittins will be performing at the ✪ Pleasance Courtyard, at 4.45pm, on 5-31 August (not 12 or 19)

Kristen Schaal and Kurt Branhouer

Colin Hoult

it alone with a menagerie of characters and storytelling. A versatile writer and performer, those familiar with his past work will know what a brilliantly bizarre joy this will be. ✪ Colin Hoult can be found at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 3.30pm, on 5-31 August.

Britain’s Best Mates

Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunhouler: Double Down Hearts

Behind their love of sports, lads’ mags, and beer, lies a sinister secret that Phil and Phil Brittan’s best mates aren’t even aware

Kristen and Kurt come back to Edinburgh with a whirlwind of surreal sketches and kooky characters. Admittedly, it’s the

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same sketches and characters they performed last year, but as anyone who saw them in 2008 can attest to, this is a repeat performance that shouldn’t be missed. ✪ Double Down Hearts can be seen at Assembly @ Assembly Hall, at 10.05pm, on 21-30 August.

Tom Basden: Now That’s What I Call Music Based Comedy Basden ploughs the musical comedy route better than almost Tom Basden

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Acts The Fix owes money to anyone else. His dry, off-kilter ditties are likely to prove a big Fringe hit yet again. He’s another who’s keeping himself busy in Edinburgh, having also written a play, Party, that’ll star many of our other picks, including Anna Crilly, Katy Wix, Johnny Sweet, and Tim Key. ✪ Tom Basden will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 6pm, on 5-30 August (not 17).

We especially encourage you to see these acts, if for no other reason than to ease the guilt we feel

who it may concern

£56,000 000

Fifty six million pounds and three pence and some goodwill

Ivan Brackenbury’s All New Hospital Radio Show On paper, the character of a second rate hospital radio DJ sounds about as original and funny as cholera, but it is Tom Binn’s fantastic portrayal of such a hackneyed character that makes Ivan Brackenbury’s All New Hospital Radio Show a must-see at the Fringe. Now in his third year at the festival, you are in the very capable hands of a professional. ✪ Ivan Brackenbury is at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 6.40pm, on 5-31 August (not 18)..

Mick Sergeant: Lifeboat Former ship worker Mick Sergeant has some opinions on 21st century love, life and liberty. With the economy crumbling around us, Mick teaches us how to get by and play by the only rules that matter – your own. A marvellously tragi-comic character, a philosopher of the people, and an outcast from society. ✪ Mick Sergeant will be at Stand 2, at 2.55pm, on 7-30 August (not 17).

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Harry and Pappy’s Fun Club

Trevor Lock: Some Kind of Fool A great improviser who is instantly likeable, Trevor Lock makes his return to the Fringe after a short absence. A seasoned performer, whose wistful flights of fancy will transport you to a world of fascination on a cloud of whimsy. A warm and highly unconventional hour of mercurial musings. ✪ Trevor will be at the GRV, at 8pm, on 6-30 August.

Pappy’s Fun Club: 200 Sketches in an Hour Sketch favourites Pappy’s Fun Club attempt to perform a record 200 sketches in an hour. Will they succeed or fail miserably? Who knows? Well, they do, presumably. Either way, this is a record attempt that you won’t want to miss, though the appearance of Kris Akabusi

Trevor Lock

and Cheryl Baker has yet to be confirmed. ✪ Pappy’s Fun Club will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 7.20pm, on 5-27 August and 31 August.

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> THE FIX 50

Modern Hey man, that comedian just plugged a projector up his arse! You’ve got to go Andrew O’Neill: Occult Comedian

Simon Amstell

For want of a far pithier cliché, Andrew O’Neill is a comic who keeps getting better and better. He’s given us history, he’s given us Jack the Ripper, and now he takes a shot at the occult. Be sure to also catch his many creations in his hour long character-based comedy show, Andrew O’Neill’s Hour Long Character-Based Comedy Show. ✪ Occult Comedian will be at the Tron, at 10.20pm, 6-30 August (not 17 or 24).

John Gordillo: F*ckonomics Quite simply one of the best standups at the Fringe. A truly original voice whose shows will take you on a journey rich in narrative, pathos, and laughs, full of characters with real depth. As an ex-film graduate, story is what drives Gordillo. You’ll leave his show with a warm feeling inside, uplifted, and feeling great about life. ✪ F*ckonomics will be at the Pleasance Dome, at 8.10pm, on 5-31 August.

Simon Amstell: Do Nothing You know him. The one off Popworld. The one off … Buzzcocks. Having decided not to continue as host of …Buzzcocks, Amstell has opted to get back to stand-up. His boyish charm, coupled with some decidedly dark material, makes him an oftensurprising comic force, in turn making this one of the most talked about and eagerly anticipated performances of the festival. ✪ Amstell will perform at the Bongo Club, at 8.40pm, on 14-30 August (not 24).

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Mark Watson’s Earth Summit

John Gordillo

Another chirpy Welshman now (sort of), in the shape of Mark Watson, who somehow found time between novels, radio, and television work to attend an Al Gore-headed climate change conference. Show off. Not only is he condensing Gore’s presentation into an hour-long comedy performance, but he’ll also be performing his last ever, legendary 24-hour show. ✪ Mark Watson will be at the GRV, at 1.20pm, on 23-30 August.

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ot to go see this! Tom Wrigglesworth: Open Return Letter to Richard Branson There aren’t many comics who can say they’ve saved an elderly lady from the tyranny of Virgin Trains, but having stood up against a particularly jobsworthy ticket inspector, Tom Wrigglesworth is definitely one of them. In his new show, Tom addresses the billionaire beardo about the power of random acts of kindness. ✪ Tom Wrigglesworth performs at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 7pm, on 5-30 August (not 18). Fergus Craig Glen Wool

Glenn Wool: Let Your Hands Go

Fergus Craig: Still Watches Neighbours And there’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t indulged in some mid-afternoon serialised Aussie drama/hilarity every now and then? After all, there’s been Dr. Karl Kennedy’s improbable sex god status, Paul Robinson losing his leg, not to mention endless characters losing their memories. What’s not to love?   ✪ Fergus will perform at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 4.30pm, on 5-31 August (Not 17).

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Unflinchingly honest, razor sharp Canadian wild man Glenn Wool’s been travelling the world and wants to tell someone his story. Where’s he been? When did he go? Why did he go? Did he pack his toothbrush? Go find out. ✪ Glenn Wool will be at the Underbelly, at 9.25pm, on 7-26 August (not 18) and 31 August.

Jason Cook: Fear Having previously brought us Joy, jovial Geordie Jason turns his attention to a very different feeling – Fear. A master of confessional comedy, Cook runs the gamut of his own psychological ups and downs. As an extra bit on the side, he’ll also be doing a one-off performance of his critically lauded ✪ My Confessions show. Jason Cook will be at the Stand 3, at 3.20pm, on 7-30 August (not 17)

Jason Cook

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> The FIX 50

Veterans They’ll be dead soon, or too rich to come up to Edinburgh anymore. Rich Hall

Mark Thomas: The Manifesto Unless you’re the type of person who shuns, well, everything and everyone, you’ll know the last 12 months will have been something of a godsend for a comic like Mark Thomas. George W. packed his bags and seemingly every MP in the country decided it was okay for British taxpayers to stump up for their porn and biscuits. Expect a lot of that to feature in The Manifesto. ✪ The Manifesto will be at the Stand 3, at 6.15pm, on 5-18 August (not 12).

Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Psychopath 2009

Rich Hall’s Campfire Stories If anyone can spin a good campfire yarn or two, it’s Rich Hall. The misanthropic legend is joined around the (figurative) fire by Mike Wilmot and Tim Williams for what will no doubt be an afternoon of tall tales, drinking, and maybe even a song or two. Make sure to catch one of Hall’s late-night solo shows too. ✪ Campfire Stories will be at Assembly @ George Street, at 2.05pm, on 6-31 August (not 17). Rich Hall’s late show will be at Assembly @ George Street, at 10.30pm, on 6-31 August (not 17)

trade as the surreal drum-fighting, plank-of-wood-waving surrealist Charlie Chuck. He still has his plank of wood and is madder than ever. ✪ Charlie Chuck will be at The Spaces @ Royal College of Surgeons, at 5pm, on 7-29 August.

Clive James in the Evening: More to Say

Charlie Chuck, Uncle Peter and Me Most of you will know Charlie Chuck better as Uncle Peter from The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, but long before Vic and Bob put him on the telly, he was plying his

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Comedian, magician, and psychopath Jerry Sadowitz terrorises Edinburgh once again. A rabid, no-holds-barred performer, why not take a few bets beforehand on what he’ll take a bite out of this time around? We’re putting a fiver on honourable mentions for Michael Jackson and Jade Goody. ✪ Sadowitz goes crazy in the Edinburgh Playhouse, at 11pm, on 29 August.

Charlie Chuck

The Aussie writer, broadcaster, and king of chat is back once again. The rest is pretty self-explanatory really. It’s Clive Clive James. In. James The. Evening. Not Clive Anderson at Dusk or any other Clive at any other time of the day. It’s Clive James in

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Women Well, you’ve got to let them have a go, haven’t you? Danielle Ward

Stewart Lee

the Evening. ✪ Join Clive James in the Gilded Balloon, at 8.30pm, on 16-21 August.

Stewart Lee:If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask For One Lee is a comedian whose searing wit and wisdom has only got better with age. An event in a coffee shop is the starting point for his latest offering, where along the way he’ll possibly cover ‘English Heritage, Top Gear, The Olympics, emigration, prawns, Bella Pasta, The National Trust, farmers, DH Lawrence, piglets, cathedrals, bees, Iggy Pop, cider adverts, riots etc. etc.’ ✪ Stewart Lee will be at the Stand 1, at 7.45pm, on 7-30 August (not 17).

Simon Munnery’s AGM Munnery eats, sleeps, and breathes the Fringe and, unsurprisingly, he’s here to do it all again. Now in its eighth year, the Annual General Meeting returns but, unlike that one your building society always invites you along to, this AGM will actually be worth your time. ✪ The AGM will be at the Stand 1, at 4.05pm, on 7-31 August.

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Danielle Ward: Lies Sometime musician and one-time psychotic nun Danielle Ward returns with a show about lying. Danielle has promised talk of dead chickens, fake suicide, roller-blades, and Angelica Huston, though how much of this is true is a very different matter. ✪ Lies will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 9.45pm, on 5-30 August (not 18).

Anna and Katy There’s plenty we could tell you about Anna Crilly and Katy Wix. They’re girls, for one thing. They’re a double act, too. They’ve appeared in all sorts of super TV and radio stuff. But really, the most important things to know are that they’re

very funny and the promotional shot for the show features Anna and Katy with a stuffed otter. Excellent. ✪ Anna and Katy will be at the Pleasance Courtyard, at 6.40pm, on 5-31 August.

Janeane Garofolo She’s a two-time Emmy nominee (The Larry Sanders Show), star of Reality Bites, The West Wing, and 24. A quick look at that resume and you might think Hollywood star Janeane Garofolo has got a bit lost ending up in Edinburgh, but there’s no doubting her comic pedigree and tell-it-like-it-is attitude. ✪ Janeane Garofolo will be at the Gilded Balloon, at 8.30pm, on 6-15 August.

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> THE FIX 50

Something a bit different Not interested in hearing a man talk for an hour about how small his penis is and why his girlfriend left him? Try some of this weird shit.

Edward Aczel

Edward Aczel: Explains All the World’s Problems... And Solves Them Shambolic genius from a man who looks like he’d be more at home driving a bus than performing standup. Multi-award winning Aczel sets about solving the credit crunch, climate change, and comedy. However, he would like it known that there is a no refunds policy for any problems that remain unsolved. ✪ Edward Aczel’s show will be at the Underbelly, at 7.25pm, on 7-30 August (no days off! Hero!)

Eric’s Tales of the Sea All aboard the good ship Eric! You don’t need to have sea legs for this hour-long show of maritime merriness and aqua-based anecdotes. An afternoon in this ex-submariner’s company is both interesting and amusing. ✪ Climb aboard Just the Tonic @ The Caves, at 2.40pm, on 6-30 August (not 17, 18 or 23).

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Wil Hodgson: The Pink Album

Pete Firman: The Pete Firman Magic Show

Further folk tales from everybody’s favourite punk wrestler. Wil’s now in his 30s and beginning to question things - life, the future, drinking in old man pubs, and why, exactly, is he still living in Chippenham? ✪ Punk it up with Wil in the Pleasance Dome, at 8.20pm, on 5-31 August (not 17).

Equally talented at both magic and comedy, Pete Firman is one of the acts making it OK to say you like magic again. Magic is usually the preserve of the infinitely sad in both audience and act, but Firman’s persona and talent helps to steer his stuff well clear of the bad magic stereotypes we are familiar with. ✪ The Pete Firman Magic Show is at the Udderbelly Cow Barn, at 7.25pm, on 6-31 August (not 17).

Tim Key: Utterly Slutterly Tom Basden’s Freeze/Cowards colleague continues his series of Slut-themed shows (following on from the Slut in the Hut) with Utterly Slutterly. Just how slutty this will get is anyone’s guess, but Key’s ‘poetry’ makes him one of the most unique and watchable performers on the circuit. ✪ Tim Key performs Utterly Slutterly in the Pleasance Dome, at 9.50pm, on 5-31 August (not 17).

Tim Key

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Project42:Layout 1 24/07/2009 15:39 Page 1

T H E

COMEDY CLUB -( '(- 5 %'' ,*1)! 5 .!+$!) ,'%) 5 * /'"%!' 5 '/) *$,)! 5 -*) **& 5 ,/! !0'%) 5 %'-*) %2*) 5 %$!' ,% 5 ,)%-  *1!, 5 .!1,. !! 5 ,3 %..'! 5 0% *)#'!3 5 )%!' %.-*) 5 !"" ,!%-'!, 5 ' %(%, 0%-$ 5 '%)! '*'(-*) 5 !3(*/, ! 5 ,!3 ,2 5 %(*) /))!,3 5 $%' %$*' 5 *++%)#  /.$ 5 !,,3  *1%.4 5 %& !,#!). 5 /' %)$ 5 ./  ,,3 5 * * /.$!,') 5 ,& $*(- 5 0 % ' 5 0%) !-.!, 5 -*) *$) $%.!$!  ) ()3 (*,!

    

full listings at www.thestand.co.uk

COMEDY AT HEART free COMEDY EVERY THE

FRINGE

OF THE

“Although the Cabaret Bar at the Pleasance has its supporters there is a general consensus that The Stand is the best space for comedy in Edinburgh� Scotsman, July 2008

5 York Place, Edinburgh

0131 558 7272

LUNCHTIME from 12.30pm


> JANE BUSSMAN

Stop laughing proles I wrote my Edinburgh show after getting caught up in a situation in Africa so insane I decided the only way to tell the story was as it happened - scary stuff mixed with funny stuff. Let’s face it, when you go to report your laptop stolen at the local cop shop and have the following exchange, there’s no point trying to make stuff up instead Jane: Someone’s stolen my computer. Cop: Where is he? I’ll shoot him in the head! Jane: Could I just get a police report? Cop: Do you have one? Jane: No, I… hoped you might have… Cop (stern): Madam. We’ve only got one police report, and we need it. I figured some people could find this offensive. Now bear in mind I wasn’t doing racist jokes. I may have shown a picture of a refugee camp and said I hadn’t seen such a depressing sight since I caught my ex-boyfriend crying and wanking at the same time (true. Shortly after

I saw this scene, I changed the locks). And sure enough, a group of people came up to me after the show to warn me I’d gone too far. That didn’t surprise me – what surprised me was who they were. African refugees? Charity workers? War criminals? No, and I know this because they pointed out to me that they were “very educated people, I’m talking Oxford”. I asked them if they were offended. They said no, of course not; they were concerned that other people would find it offensive. Fuck me, I thought, audibly; that’s what’s wrong with British comedy. Toffs with principles. In the legendary words of Chris Morris, who signed off on his Brass Eye special about drugs while shooting up heroin: “I inject… fine. But what about other people less stable, less educated, less middle-class than me? Builders or blacks, for example?” Toffs know what is right and

wrong at all times. I wish I was a toff. Life would be so much simpler. It would be like being a pervert’s retarded niece; your life mapped out and a carefree smile. I once had a conversation with a toff who told me with great authority that “comedy is dead”. “Well, you’d know, Toffo”, I said - but silently, because I am a coward. What was his job? Head of entertainment, responsible for putting comedy on television. It must be a race memory of jesters. Long before stand-ups, we had men in pointy hats with bells on, the only ones allowed to tell the aristocracy, “Pack it in, you syphillitic, thieving rapists”. Toffs miss the era of the jester because they could kill. The hats with bells were so packs of hunting dogs could find them in the dark. At the end of the day, morality is ‘do as I say, not as I do’. David Blunkett claimed Brass Eye Special: Paedophilia was amoral. He’s not posh, you say. Maybe. But at the time, Blunkett was inseminating another man’s wife. For that, I make him an honorary toff.

l ‘The Worst Date Ever: War Crimes, Hollywood Heart-Throbs and Other Abominations’ by Jane Bussmann, is out now on Macmillan, £12.99. Jane will be performing her show, Bussmann’s Holiday, at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 24-30 August.


> GEORGE RYEGOLD

PRIAPUS

Pioneering physician and polymath George Ryegold (aka Toby Williams) gives The Fix a lesson in debauched protection of one’s garden.

K

neel before Hymen! Greek god of membranes. A curious celestial duty indeed, although he was also god of marriage ceremonies, exalted in the ancient wedding song Hymen o Hymenae, Hymen - from which both hymn and hymen derive their names. It was believed essential that Hymen attend every wedding, lest the marriage prove disastrous. Thus, in ancient Greece, the wedding guests would run about calling his name aloud. I shall briefly be touching upon the hymen in my Edinburgh show, performing as pioneering physician George Ryegold in ‘Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead’, wherein special mention goes to Hymen’s brother Priapus - a minor rustic fertility god renowned for his colossal set of cock and balls - who was cast down from Mount Olympus for astounding transgressions explained in the show. The end. You would think. However, there are plenty of foolish Earthlings always on the lookout for some miscreant in need of worshipping. And so he became revered as a guardian, chiefly of the home and garden - much like Alan Titchmarsh - and was most commonly represented as a misshapen gnome-like figure with an enormous erect phallus. Much

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like Alan Titchmarsh. Statues of Priapus were common in ancient Greece and Rome, standing in gardens, doorways, crossroads, and at the Chelsea Flower Show where, by way of appeasement, travelers would stroke their penis as they passed by. The statues were often hung with signs threatening sexual abuse upon any would-be trespassers: “I warn you, boy, you will be screwed; girl, you will be fucked; a third penalty awaits the bearded thief. If a woman steals from me, or a man, or a boy, let the first give me her cunt, the second his head, the third his buttocks. My dick will go through the middle of boys and the middle of girls, but with bearded men it will aim only for the top.” Comforting to note that bearded transgressors, such as myself, get special dispensation, receiving a

mere throat-fucking. But whichever punishment it may be, one must accept that this is the price one pays for trespassing. As my neighbour’s children discovered to their cost, when I caught them attempting to retrieve their frisbee from my tulips. There was a girl and two boys – upon one of whom I drew a beard so that between them they could experience the full gamete of prescribed punishment. They learned a valuable lesson about private property, and have acquired an intense fear of frisbees to boot. l Toby will be appearing as George Ryegold in Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead at Medina & Negociants. August 7-10 and 12-17 at 10:15pm and August 19-24 and 26-30 at 11:30pm.

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> PA P P Y ’ S F U N C L U B

Pappy’s Fun Club

£6,000,000

Six million pounds ONLY Harry x

PAPPY’S,THE FIX & EDINBURGH:

A winning team!

F

rom our humble beginnings playing poorly attended gigs in poky little venues to our current showbiz status of playing poorly attended gigs in massive venues, Pappy’s Fun Club has always had a fast friendship with the Fix magazine. It all started when “Uncle” Harry Deansway first showed up at one of our many appearances in a room above a pub in North London. After the gig, whilst we were thanking the other audience member, Harry cornered us. He’d hatched a plan to set up a magazine that, he claimed, would bring about a resurgence in Britain’s love affair with live comedy. We looked over Harry’s crude drawings and misspelt essays and decided this was a losing venture that would result in his bankruptcy. In the end we were both right.

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Harry asked us to run a sketch night with him, at which we previewed many of our now legendary and award winning/ nominated sketches. We wrote and performed sketches with the speed and alacrity with which Harry accrued debts. But it was in Edinburgh 2007 that Harry and Pappy’s really came into their own. The Fix took a chance on us when no one else would dare. In Edinburgh in 2007 Harry put us on the cover of the first ever Fix Edinburgh Special magazine. He also set us up with a gig that, he assured us, would result in our ticket sales going through the roof. No money would change hands but Harry claimed it’d be “great publicity”. Our first sketch, the Minstrel, was such a success that, as we tried to move on with our

next sketch, Band Reunion, the crowd turned ugly. They booed. They jeered. And they would not stop until, finally, we brought the Minstrel onto the stage again. This was the first time we had ever been booed offstage by an audience who actually liked us and for that, Mr Deansway, we salute you. In 2008 he interviewed us again for another Fix Edinburgh Special. No cover shoot this time but he was kind enough to buy us enough drinks to get a truly candid interview with us. Where else could you read that Matthew had once burst into tears backstage at a gig at one of the top Festivals in the world? Equally his Fix podcast interview, conducted during the festival itself, featured a Fun Club so inebriated it had to be bleeped so severely it sounded like it had been remixed by Josh Wink. So what does 2009 hold for Pappy’s, The Fix and British Comedy? Pappy’s Fun Club predict bigger and better things all round: We’re attempting to break a World Record by performing 200 sketches in an hour, The Fix is increasing its print-run by nearly half a million and Horne & Corden have got a second series. Let the good times roll! l Pappy’s Fun Club World record attempt: 200 sketches in an hour. Listings information: Venue: Pleasance One, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) Dates: 5th – 31st August (not 19th) Time: 7:20pm Ticket prices: Previews – £5, Weekdays – £12(£10), Weekends – £13(£11.50), Last Weekend – £14(£12.50) Box Office: 0131 556 6550 or online at http://www.pleasance. co.uk/edinburgh Edinburgh Fringe Box Office: 0131 226 0000

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A different line-up every night, promising the biggest names and hottest new talent.

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

Live from the

Pleasance Dome 5th - 31st August

Compères include:

(not 18th & 25th)

Jon Richardson Phil Nichol Dan Atkinson Susan Calman Justin Moorhouse

11pm

For tickets please call

0131 226 0000 or go online

bbc.co.uk/comedy


> CHURCHILLS AT BOGEY’S

INTERACTIVE Bored between/during a show join in with the following pages for Edinburgh based fun.

Answer, page 53

Grab a pen and join the dots to discover this famous comedian ... 50

www.thefixonline.com

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> F IX TRICKS

Fixtricks With Pete Firman

Pete Firman shows you how to turn water to whisky, while ripping your friends off and getting laid* into the bargain. Now that’s magic. Sort of.

The Great Whisky and Water Swindle The Bet Get yourself two identical shot glasses and fill one to the brim with water and one to the brim with whisky. Bet some cocky looking dumb-dumb that you can get the whisky in the water glass and water in the whisky glass. Because you’re a prick, you have rules: you won’t use an extra glass, a straw, or your mouth. Let them ponder it for a while, and once they’ve put up some money you’re ready to knock their nuts off.

T

he Edinburgh Festival is not all about broadening your artistic horizons, discovering the golden coconut on the comedy beach. No, if you’re doing Edinburgh right, the chances are you are reading this in a boozer right now; if it’s late, you might even have one eye closed to aid focus. Well, Captain Cyclops, here’s a way to scam some free drinks and have a laugh at the same time. It’s The Great Whisky and Water Swindle!

1

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The Scoop This sounds impossible, and you don’t employ any of the things you banned in your opening banter. All you need is your driver’s license or a playing card, or maybe even a ticket to ‘The Pete Firman Magic Show’ (7.25pm at the Cow Barn). Place the card over the top of the shot glass containing the water, and flip that bad-boy upside down to place it on top of the whisky glass. Line up the two mouths and

CAREFULLY move the card so there is a gnat’s gap between the glasses. ‘Magically’, the water and the whisky will switch glasses. Down the shot, take the money, and steal the sucker’s girlfriend/ boyfriend because you have serious skills! This one is so cool to watch, and the best part is it’s pure physics. You don’t have to sell your soul to Lucifer. The density of the water is greater than that of the whisky and, therefore, when it’s turned upside down, the water forces its way into the whisky glass, displacing the whisky and forcing it upward. Class dismissed! * The Fix cannot guarantee this aspect. What worked for us may not work for all our readership. l The Pete Firman Magic Show is at the Cow Barn, 7.25pm, 6 - 31 August (not 17).

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Puzzles... THE HILDEGARD OF BINGEN DIRTY WORDS GAME Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) was a visionary, poet, composer, theologian, and mystic. See if you can find 20 dirty or suggestive words in the letters of her name. Hildegard of Bingen Here are two to get you started: Horn Fondling Now find 18 more!

CELEBRITY DEATHS Match the celebrity with their cause of death. CELEBRITY

DEATH

Bill Hicks

Pneumonia

Marlon Brando

Pancreatic cancer

Jim Morrison

Brain tumour

Mo Molam

Stroke/Brain

Tommy Vance

Heart attack

MIXED UP MORALITY Can you follow each “Stethoscope of Causality” to reveal how many UK deaths result from these causes in a year! Mortality statistics: Deaths registered in 2007 http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/product. asp?vlnk=15096 Inflammatory disorders of scrotum Traumatic amputation at neck level -

9

14

TURD SEARCH The word “TURD” is hidden in six places in this paragraph. See how many turds you can find. On Saturday, in an impromptu R.D. (Readers Digest) article, Professor T.U.R. Dish said that Urd is one of the three “Fates” who appear in Norse Mythology. His article seemed to start with a non-sequitur, due to his unusual use of language, but nevertheless the editor of the magazine gave the article his strong imprimatur, doubtless because of its overall excellence.

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www.thefixonline.com

3 Contact with hot drinks, food, fats and cooking oils Foreign body entering into or through eye or natural orifice -

6 August 2 0 0 9


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ANSWERS The Hildegard of Bingen Dirty Words Game Girl A blonde Goer Ogling Fling Bed

Norse Mythology. His article seemed to start with a non-sequitur, due to his unusual use of language, but nevertheless the editor of the magazine gave the article his strong imprimatur, doubtless because of its overall excellence.

DOT-TO-DOT (STEWART LEE)

Mo Molam – Brain

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE Douglas Hurd is a senior British Conservative politician and novelist. A cricket is an insect. Douglas Hurd dines at fine restaurants. Crickets are omnivores and scavengers feeding on organic materials, as well as decaying plant material, fungi, and some seedling plants.Crickets are considered good luck in Asia, especially in China where they are kept in cages. Douglas Hurd isn’t.Crickets mate in late summer. Douglas Hurd has sex all year round.In the movie Pinochhio there is a character named Jiminy Cricket. There isn’t one named Jiminy Douglas Hurd.

Jim Morrison – Heart

Fondling Leg Horn Gird Dingle Fiddling Dong Groin Grinding Fingering Hole Flog Frig Ring CELEBRITY DEATHS Bill Hicks - Pancreatic cancer Marlon Brando Pneumonia attack

August 2 0 0 9 SPOT THE DIFFERENCE Still got too much free time? If you convert the initial hexadecimal clues to ASCII code, you’ll find a hilarious hidden message! Editor’s Note: The hidden message is: “You. Fuck1ng. Nerd. You’re great.”

Tumour Tommy Vance – Stroke TURD SEARCH On Saturday, in an impromptu R.D. (Readers Digest) article, Professor T.U.R. Dish said that Urd is one of the three “Fates” who appear in

Stewart Lee plays stand 1 from 19:45

HEXADOKU Difficulty Level: Mother Fucking. Think you’re too clever for the normal base-10 number system? Then complete this hexa-do-ku with all sixteen hexadecimal characters in every row, column and 4x4 grid. You smart arse.

> Puzzles


Free cut-out-and-we e

âœ

Disguise yourself as two of the most feared, respected and influential men in get into any show for free, the genuine hope of receiving free drinks from every act in

Steve Bennett

54

www.thefixonline.com

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Ed tow


> M AS K S

e ep reviewer masks!

in in

Edinburgh (neither are Harry Deansway), and enjoy 100% guaranteed attempts to town, and an official Fix promise of minimum two punches in the face (per mask).

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âœ

Kate Kopstick

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> EDINBURGH 2009

The past, present,& future of COMEDY AT THE FRINGE Chris Head talks to Edinburgh Comedy Award supremo Nica Burns and Free Fringe founder Peter Buckley Hill, and rounds up the history and importance of comedy at Edinburgh

I

n 1982, Nica Burns brought an adaptation of H.E. Bates’ ‘Dulcina’ to the Celtic Lodge on the Royal Mile. She brought it up, she says, “in my Ford Escort. If my show didn’t fit into my Ford Escort, it couldn’t go”. Before her at 6pm in the same venue was a show entitled Dusty and Dick & Their Struggle Against the Bosch. Burns recalls: “When I got onstage, the room was dripping with their sweat. My producer urged me to see the show because it was so funny. And one of

56

them was Harry Enfield.” Written and performed with Skins writer Bryan Elsley, and based on old Ealing comedies, Enfield’s show was an Edinburgh hit. By 1984, Burns was running the (then) Perrier Awards for comedy, rewarding the best acts at the Fringe. Since then, there has been an explosion of Edinburgh comedy. Burns recalls: “It built up in the midto late-80s, and really started to go nuts in the 1990s. The number of shows stayed stable at 150 shows for a while,

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Left to right Arthur Smith, Steve Coogan, Johnny Vegas, John Dowie, Daniel Kitson, Eric Idle, Beyond the Fringe, Peter Kay, The Mighty Boosh, Rowan Atkinson, Pappy's Fun Club, The Footlights, Arnold Brown, The League of gentleman, John Thompson, Harry Hill, Eddie Izzard, Billy Conolly, Phil Nichol and Laura Salon.

A Brief History of the Fringe 1947 The first Edinburgh International Festival is gatecrashed by eight theatre companies who put on shows “round the fringe of the official festival”. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is born.   1952 First Edinburgh Fringe comedy show when the New Drama Group stage their revue, After the Show. 

1960 Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller perform Beyond The Fringe as part of the International Festival. Despite not being on the ‘Fringe’, it’s the classic Edinburgh comedy show. 1964 The Cambridge Footlights show stars Eric Idle and Graeme Garden. The Oxford Revue, Michael

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then went up to 250, then the Free Fringe came along and people could take a huge gamble on themselves without spending a lot of money. When I took over the comedy awards in 1984, there were 40 shows eligible. Now here we are in 2009, and there are 400 shows eligible.” History records 1952 as the official birth of Edinburgh comedy, when the New Drama Group put on After the Show, but Edinburgh comedy really kicked off in 1960 with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller in Beyond The Fringe. And yes, despite being the classic Edinburgh comedy show, it was indeed ‘beyond the Fringe’, being staged as part of the International Festival. A deliberate ploy to upstage the fledgling Fringe comedy offering. The university revues dominated the 1960s,

notably in 1964 with the Cambridge Footlights show starring Eric Idle and Graeme Garden plus the Oxford Revue show with Michael Palin and Terry Jones. The 1970s saw headway being made by non-Oxbridge comics, with John Dowie bringing an hour long solo show to Edinburgh as early as 1972; Billy Connolly doing an early impromptu standup performance that same year; and Rowan Atkinson becoming a hit in 1977. So-called alternative comedy first came to the Fringe en masse in the 1980s, due to the sheer lack of places for the early alternative comedians to ply their trade. Burns recalls: “When alternative comedy started, with the likes of Roland Muldoon putting on new cabaret nights - there was a guy who used to throw fish at the audience - the likes of John Dowie and Tony Allen could only get

➡ Palin and Terry Jones.   1972 Reluctant alternative comedy pioneer John Dowie does a threeweek run of an hour-long one-man show, setting the template for the thousands of comedy shows that follow.  1972 Billy Connolly fills time during a technical problem of The Great Northern Welly Boot Show, and accidentally does a

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classic Fringe stand-up performance. 1977 Rowan Atkinson is a hit on the Fringe.  1981 Perrier Award for Edinburgh Comedy launched. Despite the influx of alternative comics, it’s won by Oxbridge, in the shape of the Footlights revue starring Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Emma Thompson. After finding out that the Assembly

rooms were available for hire, William Burdett-Coutts books a whole season in there from the dressing room of the Old Vic, where he was working as a production manager. 1983 Off the Kerb, the future agency of Jack Dee and Lee Evans, promotes its first show on the Fringe, a midnight show at the Little Lyceum featuring Tony Allen, Roy Hutchins, and

Sharon Landau. 28 years later, it is the longestserving comedy promoter at the Fringe. 1985 Pleasance Edinburgh opened as part of the Festival Fringe, with two theatres facing on to a deserted courtyard-cumcar park in Edinburgh’s old town. 1987 First stand-up winner of the Perrier: Arnold Brown 

>

57


three gigs a week if they were very lucky. So the Edinburgh Fringe was a great way to spend three weeks doing an hour of comedy to an audience.” Now Edinburgh has become a key part of the comedians’ career path. Burns describes the journey for standups as “starting with an unpaid five minutes, getting paid ten minutes, twenty minutes, then headlining, then playing the Comedy Store, then working that circuit for a while”. She says the ambition “is to do your hour show at Edinburgh. To be able to write and perform a show that’s good enough to hold an audience for an hour is a really big deal. And then you want to get nominated for what was the Perrier Award… first the newcomer, and then win the main prize. It’s a goal that’s very tangible… and it’s a very level playing field. All you need to do is raise enough money to be there. But now, of

1988 Future comedy conglomerate Avalon, now home to Harry Hill and Al Murray, does its first fringe, with Jerry Sadowitz, Miles And Milner (Richard Thomas, writer of Jerry Springer The Opera), Simon Munnery, Nocturnal Emissions (David Baddiel, Rob Newman, Chris Lynam) and Scuffes Shoe Jazz.  1989 Fringe stalwart

58

course, with the Free Fringe, you’re not even paying for your venue.” The launch of the Free Fringe in 1996 was very much a return to the ethos of the original Fringe. In 1947, the first Edinburgh International Festival, the huge establishment event, was gatecrashed by eight theatre companies who sort out their own

by all as PBH, it was needed, he says, “Because performers were paying tens of thousands of pounds to back their dreams. We don’t deserve to be at the bottom of the food chain, financing everything and getting nothing back. ” 2006’s collaboration between PBH and Laughing Horse ended

“When I saw Laura Solon, she had six people in the audience, and then she went and won it! What a great place!” - Nica Burns spaces and put on shows, as the Evening News put it the next year, “round the fringe of the official Festival”. The Fringe is born. By the mid-nineties, the Fringe itself had become the bloated establishment, and so the Free Fringe became a fringe around the Fringe. Founded by Peter Buckley Hill, universally known

Arthur Smith’s Live Bed Show starred thenpartners Paul Merton and Caroline Quentin live on stage, in a bed. 1991 Eddie Izzard, who began busking on the streets of Edinburgh, wins the Perrier, and comes out as a transvestite. 1992 The Perrier-winning show that launched Steve Coogan and John

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in acrimony. The split spawned Laughing Horse’s Free Festival - a fringe to PBH’s original fringe of the Fringe. The whole free movement has proved a great success, even financially. Says PBH: “It’s one of the great paradoxes of Fringe economics that, by charging nothing to come to your show, you can make much less of a loss than you would

Thomson.

1996 Low-key launch of

the Free Fringe by Peter Buckley-Hill, aka PBH. The League of Gentlemen begin their rise to TV stardom. 1998 The Stand launches in its new permanent home on York Place, offering a wellrun venue whose prime objective is to look after the

otherwise.“ And it’s good for comedy - “By helping performers to be free of other pressures, they can become better and braver. The word ‘free’ in our name doesn’t only refer to the price” - and audiences - “The whole point about something called a Fringe is that people should be able to try new things and judge for themselves. The high ticket prices have rather stopped that happening, recently. We’re bringing it back”. Despite the huge expansion of the Free Fringe, some audiences still suspect the shows will be of a lower quality, but as far as his Free Fringe goes, PBH dismisses this. “Quality control is absolutely essential. Without quality control, the whole idea collapses. If we didn’t have quality control, all we would be doing is putting on shows that were free because they weren’t good enough to charge.“

acts who perform there.

1999 The Mighty Boosh

made their Edinburgh debut this year, having previously appeared at the Fringe with Stewart Lee. It’s many years before their Edinburgh success translates into TV shows and sell-out tours. 2000 Über-cool venue Underbelly launches on the Fringe. Noble and Silver

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> EDINBURGH 2009 It’s the Free Fringe that has pushed the total number of comedy shows into the 400+ range. This dominance of the Fringe by comedy has long been criticised, but Nica Burns sees it as healthy. “When people say there’s too much comedy and it’s taking over, I say - as a theatre producer there’s lots of places for us to go and do our plays! But there’s not the same opportunity for comedy. All the top knobs of the comedy industry come up. Everyone is searching for new talent, and there’s talent wanting to be found. In Edinburgh, the show grapevine is really good. We at the award see every show. And TV executives ring us up and say, ‘What should I see that I haven’t heard about?’” Despite its importance to the Fringe and to comedy, the award has hit a rocky patch since the withdrawal of Perrier’s sponsorship

give the Fringe a much needed shot in the arm, and kickstart a thousand other multimedia comedy shows. 2003 Before they became global comedy megastars, Flight of the Conchords were performing at the Edinburgh Fringe in a tiny room. 2005 Perhaps the biggest surprise in the

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in 2006. With the sponsorship initially taken over by Intelligent Finance, they were clumsily called the If.Comedy Awards. An attempt to get people to call them the Eddies is ongoing, but surely won’t catch on, if for no other reason than comedians’ notorious loathing for puns. The Guardian proposes

a cornerstone of Edinburgh comedy, and therefore of British comedy. If no big corporate paymaster comes forward, the TV industry should bail it out for doing their scouting job for them for over a quarter of a century. The award still provides a goal for comics to aim at. Even though many

“Fringe economics (dictates) that, by charging nothing, you can make much less of a loss than you would otherwise” - Peter Buckley Hill calling them The Burns. Perrier must be laughing, though, as most people still call them the Perrier Awards. Whatever they’re called, they don’t have a corporate sponsor this year, being self-funded by Burns, and all eyes are on 2010 to see if a saviour will step in. The awards deserve saving. They are

Perrier Awards’ history, as the then-unknown character comedian Laura Solon wins the main award. 2006 PBH’s short-lived collaboration with Laughing Horse puts the Free Fringe concept on the map.  2007 The Fix magazine launches it’s inaugural Edinburgh issue to huge critical acclaim

dismiss it’s allure, it’s still coveted and is an amazing launch pad for new talent and discoveries. Two years running - 2004 and 2005 - threw up two completely leftfield wins - Will Adamsdale and Laura Solon. Solon was playing the Holyrood Tavern, in the room at the back of the pub. “When I went and saw her, she had six people

and massive financial losses, with cover stars Pappy’s Fun Club getting nominated for the main comedy award despite no one having heard of them before the festival. 2008 The big four venues - Assembly, Pleasance, Underbelly, Gilded Balloon - join forces to launch the much-derided Edinburgh

in the audience”, says Burns. “And then she went and won it! What a great place, the Edinburgh Fringe!” As for the future of comedy at the Fringe, PBH hopes “it’s heading away from its current position up certain performers’ arses. It amazes me that some comedians, who have long since ceased to believe in God or Father Christmas, still believe in The Man With The Cigar, who will approach them after their show with the immortal words: ‘C’mere son; ah’m gonna make you a star’. He doesn’t exist. Every year, you can see the nervous breakdowns of those who have put £10,000 of their own money and all their emotional capital into their dream of meeting that man and, in the face of competition from the best in the world, impressing him. There’s only one reason to play the Fringe, and that’s because you enjoy it.”

Comedy Festival. The same year, the Fringe’s box office goes into meltdown due to a technical hitch, causing chaos for many of the acts performing at the festival. Add the appalling weather and this was one of the worst Fringes on record. 2009 Record-breaking 400 comedy shows at the Fringe. 

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> NIGHTMARES

s e r a m t h Nig

Edinburgh

To the average Fringe patron, the festival may look like a walk in the park for comedians: sell-out crowds, and a month of drink, drugs, and loose women. But behind the facade there is an undercurrent of despair, depression, financial ruin, and failure. Several of the Fringe performers share their darkest moments at the world’s biggest arts festival. Stephen K. Amos The journey to Edinburgh can be a long, tiresome trek. Coming from London, you will be travelling with fellow weary performers, who have just spent the previous six weeks writing and rehearsing and trying out their shows. Some may be eager to start; others apprehensive at the thought of being exposed as plain old rubbish! It’s a stressful nightmare. So arriving in Edinburgh to your final destination - usually an expensive flat you have only ever seen in pictures on the net - is eagerly awaited. One year I arrived, laden with heavy bags, up five flights of stairs. I dumped the bags in the hall, and made straight for the lounge. I couldn’t wait to take the weight off my feet. As I entered the lounge, there on the mantelpiece was a lifesize oil painting of a golliwog. I was immediately transported back to London in 1977. A nightmare had just begun again. I tried to find the funny, innocent as it was… did so for one night, and moved out the next. ✪ See Stephen K. Amos at Pleasance Courtyard, at 9.40pm, 5 – 31 August (not 12 or 18).

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Key: ✪ : Afternoon

✪:Evening ✪ :Late Night

Hatty Ashdown Edinburgh, 2008. I was presenting podcasts for The Fix with ‘Happy Harry’. Still wet behind the ears, and I’m about to interview the testosterone-fuelled American comic legend Rick Shapiro. The ageing, moustachioed bandit seemed mad for me (as well as being plain mad), especially after I asked him, “How would you describe your comedy?” “Like being fucked up against the wall in a shopping mall”, he hailed. “Oh, how lovely”, I replied. That tobacco breath came a little too close for comfort on two occasions that night. I thought it

funny to text my boyfriend back in London, and tell him about being pursued by Rick. He, however, did not see the funny side, especially after my phone died shortly afterwards. On my penultimate night, I was covering ‘Jokie Okie’, a karaoke night with gags instead of songs. Just as I was about to have my go, the door swung open revealing a familiar pair of cowboy boots. The American human pharmacy was about to watch me do him! Luckily, it wasn’t up the wall round the back of Sainsbury’s. ✪ Let Hatty and Tony Rub It Better at Laughing Horse @ Meadow Bar, 1pm, 6 – 30 August (not 10 or 24)

Daniel Rigby

Last year, despite the fact that the weather was like somebody throwing a grey duvet over your face and then pissing on you, the venue I was performing in was hotter than a burning Kuwaiti oil well. One performance saw a woman getting up to leave in the middle of my set; I promptly spewed gentle indignation at her, at which she collapsed like a sack of wrenches. Weirdest heckle ever? No, she had been exiting to escape the heat and had fainted. Everyone felt impossibly awkward, and I had proved myself to be a shit. She was thankfully OK, but I carried a little baby of guilt in my belly for a long time afterwards. ✪ See Daniel Rigby at The Cellar, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 6.30pm, 5 – 31 August

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George Ryegold

Glenn Wool

During an especially painful gig on the Free Fringe, I espied a woman in the front row who appeared to be holding up a camera preparing to take a photo of yours truly. Perhaps things were not going as badly as I had suspected? I forged on in manly fashion, readying myself for the camera flash. But it never came. On closer inspection, I saw that she was merely holding up a flyer to cover her eyes. I was disheartened by the idea that my face could possibly be more offensive than the feculent verbiage of my set. Or perhaps she was just embarrassed for me. ✪ See George Ryegold at Medina & Negociants, at 10.15pm, 7 – 17 August (not 11), and at 11.30pm, 19 – 30 August (not 25).

I was in a relationship with a young lady who regularly went to a psychic. The seer said that she was picking up a lot of vibes about me, and that I had to come in for a reading also. Being a world class partner, I diligently attended, even though I have absolutely no belief in the ability to see the future for money. So… me and the seer, alone in a room, trying to see the future. She asked me if I knew any Tauruses (Tauri? – Ed) that I didn’t trust. I asked when they were born, because I don’t follow astrology. She then had to go look up when they are born, which should have been the cue to leave, but I stayed. Away she went on a long, meandering “You’re destined for great things…” speech which, if she didn’t have access to the internet, would have been astute. Then she asked me if I wanted to know anything about the future, and I didn’t. Just to be sociable, I asked if I should do Edinburgh that year, and she rolled some chicken bones and the answer from the gods came back: “Something big will happen in your career and you won’t have to”. That year, nothing big happened in my career, and I did Edinburgh. The venue I was playing in went bankrupt, and subsequently lost £12,000 because of it. I guess the chicken bones were broken that day. ✪ You can see Glenn Wool at Underbelly’s Hullabaloo, at 9.25pm, 7 – 31 August (not 18).

Jacob Edward In 2002, Phil and I were two members of a tragically flawed sketch act. Sadly, the friends who’d seen previews had failed to remind us that we needed to put some jokes in it. We were invited to perform one afternoon at a ‘Best of the Festival’ event held in The Meadows. On arrival we discovered that our ‘performance area’ consisted of a small taped-off area of wet grass outside in the rain, http://www.flickr. com/photos/thefixmag/3717456361/ with no audience. No audience whatsoever. Picture the scene…some slightly overweight losers standing in a muddy field shouting humourless material into the abandoned middledistance whilst trying to wipe the rain from their glasses. Absolutely tragic. ✪ See The Sunday Defensive at The Attic, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), at 4.30pm, 5 – 31 August (not 19).

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Harry Deansway The first time I came to the Edinburgh Festival was as a comedy DVD seller in 2000. Having written, directed, and produced my own sketch show, I decided to pack a suitcase full of them and head up to Edinburgh, where I assumed they would sell like hotcakes and I would get my own TV show. I stole some money from my mum’s credit card in the hope that I would pay her back with the profits from sales. I booked enough accommodation for two days - the sales would pay for the rest of the week. Things went well on day one. I sold two copies for £30. The next day I only sold one, and it was slowly dawning on me that this would not be as easy as first expected. By afternoon on the third day, my will was completely broken and I was beginning to feel like a comedy Atlas, made to walk the cobbled streets and hills of Edinburgh with a suitcase

full of dreams on my back, punished by Zeus for my naive optimism and faith in my own ability. I had now completely run out of money, and for the next two evenings I was forced to sleep on the streets. The next morning, I tried to escape Edinburgh on a train back to London with a ticket that wasn’t valid until the end of the week. I was evicted from the train at Berwick-upon-Tweed, where I slept under a bridge for another night. Arriving back in London, I received a letter from Channel 4, inviting me to a meeting. I had a meeting with the commissioning editor of the time, who said he had seen my DVD, really liked my stuff, and did I have any other ideas, to which I simply replied: ”No”. There was a moment’s awkward silence, and then I left. I’m still trying to get a TV show, but now when I go to Edinburgh I make sure the accommodation is paid for. Harry Deansway can probably be found wandering aimlessly along The Royal Mile. Do not spare him any change. Do not buy a DVD. Do not give this man a TV show.

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> Surviving edinburgh

The Fix Edinburgh Survival Guide

Scotland is one of the most uninhabitable countries in the world, and the Edinburgh festival is the most dangerous, expensive arts festival around. In order to survive, you are going to need The Fix’s help.

Accomodation

recreate a visit to your grandparents’ house, only this time it’s you palming money into their hand with a wink at the end of the visit.

Hotel I very much doubt that anyone with the funds to stay in a hotel during the Edinburgh Festival will be leafing through a free comedy magazine. Fuck you, you millionaire arsehole.

Hostel

Renting

B&B

Rental accommodation is literally everywhere during the festival. However, due to the influx of tourists and performers during the festival, prices have been known to increase by up to sixteen times their usual price. This is in order to comply with the Festival landlords’ motto – “The Edinburgh Festival ain’t Edinburgh Festival unless somewhere a juggler is being financially raped”.

For those of you that don’t like lunch or dinner, why not try bed and breakfasting? Locations vary from somewhere South of Leith to the outskirts of Aberdeen, so start the morning with a bowl of porridge, before hiking it the four hours into Edinburgh everyday. If you don’t like feeling like part of the festival, this is for you! Staying in a B&B also gives you the opportunity to

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For those of you that enjoy walking around all day with all your worldly possessions for fear that someone might destroy, steal, or sell them while you’re out, why not try hostelling? It’s a great way to spend many fear-filled sleepless nights in a dormitory filled with potential arsonists and child killers.

choosing instead to sleep in one of the many venues dotted around the city. Prices range from £17.50 an hour to absolutely free. It’s worth bearing in mind that some of the time there will actually be shows on but, if you don’t mind sleeping through a lot of noise, my advice is to sleep at the front so you can really spread out. For a full list of venues and time slots, see The Fix’s handy schedule at the front of this guide.

Sleep on the streets When in Rome… Scotland invented homelessness, so there is no better place to try it to get a really authentic experience.

Venue Hop Every year, hundreds of festival goers manage to forgo the hassles of accommodation completely by

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In the City

The Royal Mile This dangerous Edinburgh thoroughfare is filled with gypsies, tramps, and thieves. Beware!

themselves in broad daylight by humping the cobbled streets wearing no more than a look of misplaced superiority. They will be easy to spot, as they will be surrounded by a large crowd of older gentlemen who have no intention of paying to see their show.

Military Tattoo

Every year, millions of warmongering Stealth Walking pensioners arrive by the Do not, under any coach load to stare in circumstances, make awe as gaily dressed eye contact with a cast militia dance about to member from ‘I Love The Army’s Greatest you, You’re Perfect, Hits. It’s a bit like the Now Change!’ Stare at Lady Boys of he Royal the ground with a stern Mile in their uniformed expression and keep pac-a-macs so, if you moving. If they still try and are a performer, definitely talk to you – hit them. flyer these people. After They were in the wrong watching a man fire a and they will apologise. cannon in the rain, they Shakespeare will surely want to unwind Look out for the allby watching your onefemale teenage cast of man human beat-boxing Macbeth as they degrade odyssey.r

Food

If you are from anywhere on earth other than Scotland, you will be familiar with the health benefits of fruit and veg. However, this knowledge is strangely lacking north of the border for two reasons: 1.By decree of the Scottish parliament, on arrival in Scotland all fruit and veg is put in barrels to ferment, in order to sustain the national drink, ‘Alcohol’. 2.If it costs more than £1 to buy and is not deep fried in batter or a potato, it is classified as a drain on public resources, and therefore only available to the very wealthy from high class fruit and veg boutiques on George Street, Scotland’s version of London’s Bond Street. The Fix’s advice is to buy plenty of frozen veg before leaving home to avoid paying extortionate prices.

Haggis Haggis is delicious. It’s the original sausage. Along with dogging and Sunny Delight, haggis has to be up there in the top three products that need to be re-branded. Try it once – love it forever.

Fresh fish A lot will be said about the fresh fish. Ignore it. You can have fresh fish at home. Why not treat yourself. There’s a perfectly good Pizza Hut just off the Royal Mile which always seems popular with the heaving masses. It’s a veritable throng of activity, and really captures the festival vibe and the people of this beautiful city.

Alcohol Water was outlawed from Scotland in 1806 due to lack of demand and its natural health benefits. Scots instead prefer to drink Buckfast and Irn-Bru. If - like 99.9% of all living life forms - you don’t think you can survive without water for more than 48 hours, ironically Scotland produces some of the

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finest mineral water in the world, which it exports globally. It’s available from all good newsagents, supermarkets, and garages in England, Wales, and Ireland. *In Scotland, the hot tap produces whiskey, and the cold tap IrnBru – both at lukewarm temperatures.

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‘Undoubtedly cabaret comedy at it’s very best’ The Scotsman ‘Top comedy, top value’ The List

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Midnight Shows ‘Best comedy club in the country’ Johnny Vegas

‘A champion of high-quality leftfield stand-up... a haven for the more innovative side of comedy’ The Guardian

‘Consistently boasting some of the most interesting line ups in the country’ The Times March 2009

Sell-out for the last years!

14

Four top Comedians! Joke Competition Prizes! Two different shows – Early & Late show! Two hours of Comedy!

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Previews Thurs 6th/Fri 7t 7th th 6th â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 30th (NOT 18th) 18th) 9.30ppm Early Show 7.30pm 7..30pm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9.30pm Late Show 10pm 10pm â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 112pm 2pm

Box Office 0131 01 31 208 0882

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THE CAVES

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Find us at... Just the Tonic at The Caves, Venue 88, 253 Cowgate For up to the minute listings www.justthetonic.com or call the BOX OFFICE 0131 208 0882 Be ahead of the pack â&#x20AC;&#x201C; bookings announced as we make them www.twitter.com/justthetonic

CHARLIE BAKER is...

ECCENTRIC TREASURE OF THE FUTURE H YLIS â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A STEDIAN COM SONIC A WITH INATIONE IMAG TWINKL A ' AND HIS EYE G DIN IN FIEL NOEL

Showtimes 8.00pmâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;9.00pm 6thâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;30th August



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Venue: Just the Tonic at The Caves Venue 88, 253 Cowgate Box OfďŹ ce: 0131 208 0882 Produced by Just the Tonic in association with Maverick Comedy Management and Debi Allen Associates

THE CAVES

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> FEATURE

Photographs by Darren Russell. Styled by Deborah Rinkoff, Mariel Kaplan, and Emma Bergamin Davys.

Homagedy

With so much new talent at the Fringe, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to make a decision on which acts to take a chance on. To make that choice easier, The Fix dressed some of the fastest-rising stars of the comedy circuit as the big established acts they are influenced by. If you like any of the comedians above, there is a high chance you will like some of the comedians on the following pages. August 2 0 0 9

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> FEATURE Chubby Funster

Wil Hodgson as Roy Chubby Brown The similarities between Wil Hodgson and Roy Chubby Brown end at their flamboyant dress sense. Wil divides audiences like no other act, a unique storyteller whose tales from the perspective of an outsider are as fascinating as they are funny. With his thick West Country drawl, an hour in his company is always captivating, but laughs are very subjective. ★ Wil Hodgson Plays the queen dome in the Pleasance courtyard at 20:20

“He decided to do blue stuff as he didn’t want to do racist. A recent show I saw suggests he’s chucked that philosophy out the window.”

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Brothers in laughs

Pappy’s Fun Club AS The MARX BROTHERS With their madcap antics and uncontainable zeal, Pappy’s Fun Club create an energy in their live shows that is very much in the spirit of the Marx Brothers’ celluloid efforts. Combining slapstick, wit, and pathos, there is never a dull moment in a Pappy’s Fun Club live show, and this year’s show promises to be no different. ★ Pappys Fun club play The Pleasance 1 in the pleasance courtyard at 19:20

“The funniest vaudeville act of all time. They’ve definitely had an influence on us.”

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> FEATURE What’s with

TOM BASDEN AS SEINFELD

Tom Basden is to musical comedy what Jerry Seinfeld was to observational humour. His razor sharp wit combined with his ear for a good melody make Tom one of the most accomplished acts on the circuit. This year’s show - unlike Seinfeld’s sitcom - promises to be about something, as opposed to nothing.

“The only thing I know about his TV show is that it claims to be about nothing. Though from the title, it’s probably about Seinfeld.”

★ Tom Basden Plays upstairs at the Pleasance courtyard at 18:00

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> FEATURE

Ross Lee’s Big Adventure

Ross lee AS Pee wee herman

Much as we had never seen anything like it before with Pee Wee Herman’s Playhouse, the same can be said for Ross Lee. A natural entertainer, he is equal parts weird, funny, and instantly likeable, with a bag full of stories about his journey to fame. This Edinburgh will no doubt be the most important stop on his travels to success so far. ★ Ross Lee Plays the Attic in the pleasance courtyard at 19:00

“What I like about Pee Wee Herman is that he brings out the inner child in all of us.”

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Wild And Crazy Guy

pete firman AS steve martin

It’s rare that you get an act who has equal amounts of talent in comedy and magic, but Firman is such an act. With his postmodern take on the 21st century magician, his jokes are as silly as his magic tricks are accomplished. His show is performed with the same vigour that was evident in Steve Martin’s stadium-filling heyday.

“He’s one of the few comedians who has managed to integrate funny magic into his act.”

★ Pete Firman Plays Underbellys pasture at 19:15 August 2 0 0 9

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> FEATURE

“Ken Dodd is classified as an old-style comedian is because he was around before Chaplin and the court jesters of medieval times.”

Diddy With Laughter

Patrick monahon AS KEN DODD The similarities between Ken Dodd’s marathon four hour theatre shows and Patrick Monahan’s propensity to overrun don’t end there. Both share an innate ability to appeal to the masses, and are instantly likeable. Once Monahan progresses to theatres, there will be as many punters complaining that he hasn’t performed for long enough as other acts on the circuit complaining of his overrunning. ★ Patrick Monahan plays the Gilded Baloon at 21:15

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“Tommy Cooper ploughed his own particular mad comedy furrow. A legend!”

Just Like That

ED ACZEL AS TOMMY COOPER Behind the shambolic facade lies a potent comic mind. Aczel has the same ability as Cooper to walk on a stage and raise a laugh before he has said a word, but don’t let this belie the fact that his jokes are as well-crafted as his set is disorganised. A truly original voice on the fringe. ★ Ed Aczel plays Underbelly cowgate at 19:25 August 2 0 0 9

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> C H U R C H I L L S A T> F BE OAGTEUYR’ E S

Lloyd Langford’s...

Guide to understanding the blues

H

ello, my name is Lloyd Langford and I’m doing a show up here called ‘Every Day I Have the Blues’. I’ve got the blues so bad it’s prevented me from learning an instrument or being able to sing. I’m always suspicious of Muddy Waters in that regard. How blue can you be with a lucrative recording contract, mastery of the slide guitar, and one of the most expressive voices in musical history? Chin up Muddy, you miserable old chuff. Anyway, I thought I’d write this guide to help you appreciate blues music, and to persuade you to stop listening to that inferior electro toss with which you are no doubt presently raping your ears with.

Dead Black Men The best blues is almost solely confined to music recorded by dead black men. Very few white men can sing or play the blues, bar Captain Beefheart, early Fleetwood Mac, five sixths of the Allman Brothers Band, and Stevie Ray Vaughn (though my favourite is Johnny Winter, an albino and has a girl’s haircut. Plenty of things to be upset about). As a general rule of thumb, one should doubt the pedigree of blues players who are Caucasian and still alive.

Sex Blues music is full of sex. But in the days of censorship, blues musicians had to be skilled in euphemism. Terms for sex or sexual organs include: doing the monkey; puttin’ the banana into the bowl; stuffin’ my larder; churning the butter; polishing off a lollipop; and gauging the depth of a particularly attractive well.

August August2009 2009

Blindness The ocular function of a bluesman is inversely proportionate to his skill in his chosen field. Don’t believe me? Then check out Blind Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller (who also had the disadvantage of not yet experiencing puberty), Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Snooks Eaglin, and Sonny Terry. Terry noticed a gap in the market and made the bold move of not prefacing his name with an eye-related disability. He was generally shunned* by the other blind bluesmen for this audacious departure from the accepted style.

Common Blues Problems

So there it is. I hope this has provided an enjoyable dip of the toe into the blues waters in which you will go on to fully immerse yourself and never leave. Though not drown. Maybe some sort of treading water and eating fresh fish combination which will allow you to become selfsufficient whilst retaining the logic of what is obviously a poor analogy. Have a good Fringe. Some historians dispute this, arguing that “not noticed” is a more accurate term. Almost certainly by train.

*

**

l Lloyd Langford: Every Day I Have The Blues is at the Pleasance Courtyard, 21.45, 5 – 30 August (not 18 August)

These are universal things that constantly wrestle with the soul of man. And just when you think you’ve got them beat, their friend in pink tights hits you over the head with a steel chair. They include not having enough whiskey; not having enough money; having an incurable desire to kill women; just missing a train; finding out that the train departs from a different station; general time-table reading mishaps; asking for water and being given gasoline; asking not to have sprouts and then being given sprouts; asking for directions to the Tate Britain and being pointed in the direction of the Tate Modern; your baby leaving you***; having to leave your baby; and inferior weather, particularly on the first day of the week.

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> STEPHEN CARLIN

Way down ın the hole Stephen Carlin redresses not talking about The Wire, the best show no one’s not seen, by mentioning it at least 13 times.

S

orry, just let me first apologise. We’re into the second sentence of this article on the Edinburgh Fringe, and already I’ve failed to mention how much I enjoy The Wire. I will quickly redress the situation. I like The Wire. You know The Wire? Not the phenomenon of metal pulled into a thin flexible thread, although I’m a pretty big supporter of that wire too. God, isn’t electrical cable great? But The Wire, the HBO programme. The one about corrupt cops and corrupt drug dealers and corrupt other people, all being corrupt. Cops who break all the rules and still can’t get results. That Wire. I fully support The Wire. I back The Wire 120%. I’ve had carnal relations with The Wire. I’d like to state that for the record. As with Nelson Mandela, so too with The Wire. It’s not simply good enough to be a supporter - you have to be seen to be a supporter. It’s not the first time I’ve neglected to mention The Wire. I recently attended a wedding where I repeatedly declined to indicate my enjoyment of HBO’s finest. I failed to cut into the free-flowing chitchat with The Wire non-sequiturs. I don’t know what went wrong. Call it first night nerves. A public enquiry would have blamed human error, but whatever it was, I will forever be remembered by the other guests as “that guy who didn’t talk about The Wire”. I further compounded the problem by not comparing The Wire

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to a serious literary figure. Dickens, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky - take your off-the-peg pick. A passing broadside against the mother of the bride’s hat would have been indulged; a projectile vomit directed at the top table passed off as over enthusiasm. But an absence of Wire references was indefensible. By this stage there was no way back. Frustratingly, I already had preprepared arguments ready to be

‘That Wire. I fully support The Wire. I back The Wire 120%. I’ve had carnal relations with The Wire.’ deployed like Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, at a moment’s notice. Arguments concluding that no concessions are made to the viewer. Others about how we are all ultimately compromised by the institution we’re committed to. Dress rehearsals of propositions had been undertaken. Dry runs of conversational set pieces conducted. Best laid plans of mice and men laid. But I flunked The Wire key test.

l Stephen Carlin will not be not be talking about The Wire in his Edinburgh show, Stephen Carlin Blows The Lid Off The Whole Filthy Business. Stand 4, 7.20pm.


> TI M K EY

Key Contribution The Fix asked Tim Key to contribute something about his show. He sent this back about forty minutes later.

I

was flattered to be asked to contribute something about my show (The Slutcracker) to this magazine (The Fix). I (Tim Key; pretty) immediately said to old Harry (the Editor; I’ve met him) that I’d be happy to contribute a poem to his venture (this magazine), the idea being it would give my show ‘the oxygen of publicity’ which would – with luck – contribute towards helping to publicise my show (The Slutcracker, 9.50pm, The Pleasance Courtyard). My exact words (to Harry) were: “Harry, I’m in”. The poem I chose (to send to Harry) is this one (as follows):

Poem #733. “I’ve killed nine people”. I believed him because he was sweating. And because no one would ever think of saying nine. And because I’d seen him kill a couple of ‘em with my own eyes. I chose it because it’s not in my show (not good enough), but it also captures the essence of my show (the poems in my show are not good enough, either). I suppose if it’s about anything (which it isn’t), it’s about feelings that I suppose we all get sometimes, or situations we all find familiar for one reason or

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another (it isn’t about anything). This year’s show is an advancement on last time’s outing (The Slut In The Hut; 2007; scratchy). I have tried to reel in the drinking and have enlisted the help of a voice-coach in order that my speaking sounds much more as if it has been coached (as opposed to being natural/ believable). In addition to the poems (most people dislike poems), there are other things which people who don’t like poems (it’s rare that you meet someone who likes poems) might prefer to poems (“poems” – ugh). So the show will have a miscellaneous element that will weave throughout. There may be music, or mind-reading, or

an assault course, or porn. But the majority of it will be poems (poems are not so bad), because that’s how things have gone (rightly or wrongly) in my life (recently; Christ). Tim Key’s show (The Slutcracker, 9.50pm, The Pleasance Courtyard) is on daily (see prior brackets for details) at 9.50pm in The Pleasance Courtyard. Tim Key (the swarthy bastard who does the poems on Newswipe) is 32, and has a technician man (Fletch), whose responsibilities include blackouts, lighting, sound, and prompting. l The Slutcracker is on at The Pleasance Courtyard, 9.50pm, 5 - 31 August (not 17).

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>> C FH EA UT RU CR H EI L L S A T B O G E Y ’ S

Britain’s best mates H i there. Phil here, one half of Phil and Phill, officially ‘Britain’s Best Mates’. Phill and I were awarded the title of Britain’s best mates by Lads! Magazine, following a national search for the best best mates in the land – the judges liked the fact that we had ‘collected’ over 1400 traffic cones, six ‘Watch Your Speed’ signs, and a ‘Danger: Children Crossing’ sign. Phill’s room looks just like a lay-by. Amazing! The competition wasn’t that tough. We know that we probably wouldn’t have won if Chris Moyles and Comedy Dave had entered, or Ant and Dec, or Jeremy Clarkson and The Hamster. They are icons of friendship and manhood that we can only aspire to. It’s an honour to be in Edinburgh this August, the home of great mates Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. We are massive Potter fans and we’ve heard that we can go to the café where JK Rowling himself sat to write his first Potter classic. Can’t wait. Edinburgh is also the birthplace of

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great Olympian Chris Hoy, with the finest thighs in our great nation. Like colossal tree trunks they are. Really massive. In honour of his three gold medals, Phill and I bought a tandem and shaved our legs. They are huge, though, aren’t they?

In honour of Olympic gold medalist Chris Hoy Phil and I bought a tandem and shaved our legs If you’re in any doubt as to us being worthy of the Britain’s best mates title, how about this? Phill and I are planning to walk down the aisle together when we have a joint wedding. We just haven’t found the right girls yet. It’s not for lack of trying. We go out all the time looking. The direct route is the best. It saves time wondering if they like you. I go up to a fit girl and say to them, “My mate fancies you.” And then we just move on to the next bar and the next. We plan to have a best mates’

vow at the joint wedding: “Do you, Phil, take this Phill to be your best mate, to never miss a ‘Sky Super Sunday’ or a rugby Six Nations game or an episode of One Tree Hill, in sickness and in health, till death us do part?” I do. Phill and I are trying to persuade the good people at Hallmark to make February 15 into Best Mates’ Day. Year after year, the only Valentine’s card we get is from my mum, so the next day we light a couple of candles, open a bottle of wine, and have a nice dinner together, a Best Mates’ Day dinner. Could catch on, right? Phill is poorly, so I ran him a Mr. Matey bubble bath, and let him lie on the couch and watch our One Tree Hill box-set under the duvet for the day. Best be off to take him a hot Ribena. Don’t worry, he’ll be well in time to spread our message of friendship at the Pleasance all August. l Britain’s Best Mates will be performing daily at the Pleasance Dome, at 5pm, from August 5 - 31 (not 10 or 19).

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> C H U R C H I L L S A T> F BE OAGTEUYR’ E S

Nick Helm’s guide to

Insincere Praise

You’ve just seen your old university friend perform their magnum opus. It went badly. Nick Helm suggests eight vague, non-committal mumblings to help you through that difficult post-show meet-up. “Well done!”

Text message

This is a classic. It may seem obvious, but those two words can sometimes be all that is needed. It’s positive and implies a giddy level of enjoyment that possibly wasn’t achieved.

If all else fails, leave straight away and follow it up with a well-worded text message simply saying, “Well done. Sorry I had to rush off, I’ve got tickets for Kitson. Let’s meet up in the week”. This buys you time if they take you up on your offer, and hopefully, with a couple of days distance between you, the subject of what you thought of their show will never come up again.

‘Did you enjoy yourself ?’ /‘How did you feel that went?’ Simple. Effective. Bulletproof. It gets the conversational ball rolling without having you commit to any opinions of your own straight away.

“Nice venue!” This never fails to fill an uncomfortable lull in the postshow conversation, and can often incorporate such topics as the varied drinks selections at the bar, the size of the stage, and the toilet facilities.

“That actress/actor looked really familiar…” It may seem superficial, but bring it up. This is a particularly useful comment, as you can go back to it as many times as you like throughout the conversation as you strive to piece the puzzle together.

“You must be exhausted!” Compliment them on the energy that they put into their

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performance. Again, this can give any performer an incredible sense of achievement without getting too bogged down in details.

“That performance will stay in my mind forever” A show can be “life changing” and “unique” without being “good”. Use this to your advantage.

“Great flyer!” A lot of work goes into the marketing of a show. Sometimes more goes into the design of a flyer than into the show itself, so let them know that their hard work designing the thing has been appreciated.

DO NOT under any circumstances, say any of the following: “I saw a reviewer in the audience.” “How much did the show cost to put on?” “The audience was quite small, wasn’t it?” l You can see Nick Helm in Bad Things Happen In Trees at The Rat Pack, at 4.20pm, from 8 - 28 August (not 19 or 26); and as part of Acaster, Helm & Widdicombe – Live at The Voodoo Bar, at The Voodoo Bar, at 7pm, from 8 – 29 August (not 19 or 26)

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> Feature

Night shift with minicab drivers Ba

Me and Baclava ready for shift after traditional warm up of 10 shots of Tekirdag

Bossman Sivas says we must love each other and no fighting over lady fares Baclava on phone to sister back home in Nermut Dagi

Use traditional Turkish buttock dance to buff up my hashyback for ladies Me and Backlava hunt like lions for hen night party

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Taking break with good friends Mammood and Tony.they make nutritious food and many children

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rs Baclava and Bukake Many fares come in but no lady fares. This may be slow night.

Lady fare comes in Backlava bites my neck but I win tussle Ossi trims my hairstye. He is good friends with Lionel Richie and his salon open all night long

Backlava still on phone to sister End of shift. Take time out by the canal

Me and boys relax by waching Baclavaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sisters wedding video. Ottoman has fast forward to sexy bits

Baclava and bukake are appearing in the cardinal burns show at 17.45 in the attic


> FEATURE

Dear Kim, Hello. My name is Kim. I hope you’re enjoying this magazine. I apologise in advance about putting a bit of a dampener on things. Earlier this year, my show was performed in London. However, the theatre received a letter of complaint, which is printed below, and I felt I should somehow atone for the misery caused. I’m just trying to help. 23, Fortress Road, London, NW5 1ND

Dear Soho Theatre, April le Will Die’ on the 14th I went to see ‘Kim Nob d and inte ppo disa y ver all e wer with two friends, and we le nsib spo irre be o Theatre would surprised that the Soh ntally unwell me rly clea is t tha n ma enough to profit from a and very unstable. t Kim Noble st, it is clear to me tha As a trainee psychiatri than his er rath nt, me ess ass c atri needs an urgent psychi edy’. ‘com or ’ ‘art held up as twisted behaviour being ing and we left urb dist e wer w sho Several parts of the halfway through. public, ut the wellbeing of the I am also concerned abo struggle with y ma o wh ce, ien aud including people in the c scenes of e presented with graphi self-harm, and who wer xxxx. xxx xxx xxxxxxxx, and xxx xxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx, said they y the and ice pol the Because of this, I called the local I will also be writing to would investigate, and show. the nse lice to n isio council about its dec helping people who are My job is to spend all day ing to re did not appreciate hav refo the I so ell, mentally unw in the company e tim re mo ng ndi spe pay for the privilege of refund for . I would appreciate a of a disturbed individual man will this t tha and an assurance the 3 tickets I bought, you will not t tha and nt me ess ass c be getting a psychiatri shows. be staging further similar Yours sincerely, Dr. Jones

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It was only right that I should respond to him. My letter is printed below.

Dear Dr. Jones I am so so so sorry tha t through my show…ther you left halfway e was actually a good bit just after that, wh I can also assure you tha ich you missed. didn’t (and I quote) “pr t the theatre ofit from a man who is clearly mentall y unwell”. I believe they just broke even - the smoke machine was qu cost of hiring a ite on the theatre’s finances a heavy burden . As a good will gesture, 4 tickets to go and see doctor, I’ve booked Be 19 September at the O2 n Hur Live on the Ar 3 tickets for you and yo ena. I’ve enclosed fourth I will keep for my ur friends. The forward to meeting yo self, and look u have a lovely time, and there. We will yo during - and I quote fro u can assess me m the website - “the epic chariot races broug ht to life”. I think I’m falling in love with you, doctor. Yours forever, Kim Noble I am yet to hear back from him. If you have any complaints about anything in Edinburgh this year, then I suggest you come with me to see Ben Hur Live. I’ve heard its quite good. I love you all.

 

What do you think about this? E-mail us at thefixonline@gmail.com Send your letters to The Fix, 46 Aldgate High Street, Room 30, Aldgate, EC3N 1AL, London, UK

l Kim Noble plays the Assembly, at 6.20pm, 25-30 August.

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> CHURCHILLS AT BOGEY’S

> FEATURE

Crowd Control

with Tiernan Douieb Like rain at Glastonbury, one thing that is guaranteed every year at Edinburgh is shuffling, swarming hordes. The Fix isn’t suggesting they’re braindead, but just incase, Tiernan Douieb has come prepared.

F

irst time at the Edinburgh Festival? You’ve probably got many questions to ask, such as where do I buy tickets for all the shows? How do I know what to go and see? What should I do if there is an impending zombie attack during my time there? Well, I can’t help you with the first two questions. To be honest, god knows who can. But the latter: well, that’s something that I am constantly prepared for, due to an overactive imagination and severe paranoia. Anything can happen at the Fringe. Only last year I saw a man dressed as a chicken scuff with someone dressed as a cow on the Royal Mile; Tim Minchin stole my crepe; and some really good shows got shit reviews from people that can’t write. So it’s also entirely plausible that the dead could come back alive and eat everyone’s brains while they are drinking in Bristo Square. Here’s what you should do should such an event occur. Bear in mind that these tips are based on an attack by traditional Romero undead zombies as opposed to modern day infected zombies. Some people get very funny about the difference between the two, whereas I like to think that if I was being chased by a horde of flesh-eating creatures, I wouldn’t be all that concerned with what exact type they were. Edinburgh is the ideal place for a zombie attack, thanks to its seemingly constant uphill geography. Racing to the top of any hill will give you a headstart against their

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lumbering rotting legs. Bear in mind that a number of Scottish zombies may also be slower due to obesity issues. Once at the top of the hill, you can relax for a while, go see a show, or even indulge in a beer or three. This plan is only flawed if there are zombies at the top of the hill also. Find a stronghold. It needs to be somewhere you can feasibly survive for some time. This means most Edinburgh venues are invalid due to the poor air circulation and damp which will kill you long before any zombies do. Best bet is head for Edinburgh Castle. It’s held its own against invaders before, and most of the army will be there for the Tattoo, so let them deal with it. This plan is only flawed if all the army are zombies already. lot of people on the Royal Mile will be dressed like twats in order to promote their show. There is a high chance some of them will be dressed as zombies, so you have to be careful before wielding your weapon of choice (I go for a spade or pickaxe) at possible undead. Best bet is to go for everyone that looks remotely zombieish, and hack away. That way you’ll be safe from denizens of the dead as well as terrible self-promotion. Find other survivors. I suggest getting a mixture of actors, comedians, and genuinely useful people. Comics are used to working by themselves, so can be sent on any difficult mission that involves them getting as much attention as

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possible in a self-derogatory way. If you need to create a distraction, the comedian/s can be used to stand somewhere and shout abuse at how shit their jobs are, and how crap their hometown is. Actors are good, because if you happen to be caught off-guard by marauding zombies, you can ensure one of them gets killed first. The others will cry in an over the top manner for at least an hour, meaning they will be good bait while you escape. If you find you have been bitten by a zombie, chances are you won’t have long before you too are crying out for brains. Being the considerate sort, I would suggest getting a huge baked potato from just off the Royal Mile and eating it as quickly as possible. You will probably be too heavy and sick to move for some time, allowing others a chance to avoid you. Or hit you in the face with an axe. If you are not the considerate sort, why not head to Edinburgh zoo and bite different animals to see what happens? I’ve always been curious as to what undead bees would be called. Lastly, it’s important to remember that it’s not their fault. At heart, zombies were probably lovely people. Really, it’s so rare nowadays to find honest souls who aren’t just about looks and are more about brains.

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l Tiernan Douieb: 28 Years Later is at the Underbelly, at 4pm, 6 – 30 August (not 17).

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Diary Of A Nobody As roadside café owner and amateur comedian Brian Gittins gets ready to embark on his debut Edinburgh show, The Fix gets exclusive access to his diary the week before he sets off. MONDAY Woke up this morning with diarrhea. One week to go until I leave for Edinburgh. Cheryl had a go at me for leaving the old toilet roll on top of the cistern. That’s one of the things that wind me up about women. I bought two puppets on the internet before we left for work. On arrival at the café, I noticed there were six used condoms in our car parking space. I had to clear them up with a trowel. Angelos rang in sick with a bent leg. He explained to me that he had gone to the funfair yesterday and got his knee trapped in a waltzer. He usually clears up the condoms. TUESDAY Went to my judo class tonight. I still can’t get the hang of it. I must have spent close to a grand on these lessons. Our instructor, ‘Gavin’, did a new throw on me called the ‘Ippon Seio Nage’. I’m sure he was

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showing off to the class. He held me on the mat, and all I could see was the inside of his head. He might be good at judo, but he’s got dirty ears. Instead of throwing me on the floor every other minute, perhaps he should invest in a cotton bud or two. He’s no Brian Jacks. I’ve decided I’m going to take up table tennis after Edinburgh. WEDNESDAY My new puppets arrived this morning. One is a ginger-haired man with a tooth missing. I’m calling him ‘Angelos’. The other is a black man with big hair. I’m calling him ‘Remi’. I still don’t know how I am going to use them in my show. Alchy Malcy said I should sellotape them to the theatre wall. How’s that going to add anything? Cheryl was stressed this evening. She told me that she’s worried that I’m going to be ‘smothered in women’ while I’m up at the festival. I calmed

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> FEATURE her down by giving her a foot massage. Her little toe is weird. She hasn’t got a toenail. My mother didn’t have a nail on her little toe either. Are there any women in the world that have a nail on their little toe? THURSDAY Diarrhea is still with me. More or less. It’s caused problems in the café. I was in and out the toilets all morning. We had quite a few complaints from the customers. Cheryl and I have decided we need some kind of partition wall between the loos and the eating area. I had my last preview tonight before I leave for the festival. It was awful. There was a bald man in the front row who kept giving me ‘the evils’. I asked him if he liked my set. He said, “Just get on with it”. I hope the Scots are friendlier. FRIDAY Chaos at the café today. The gypsies had fly tipped a pile of mannequins in the entrance to the car park. It looked like a bloody massacre. We had to turn customers away. I got so stressed I kicked the shed. My nail has gone black. My toe is going to look like a woman’s toe. Danny ‘One Elbow’ Taylor helped me out by dumping the mannequins in his skip lorry. There

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were 47 of them. It felt strange looking at the female mannequins. I wonder if all men like looking at naked plastic women? Cheryl said no. SATURDAY Cheryl arranged a surprise goodbye dinner for me at Heaven On A Stick, the local kebab shop. It’s run by Angelos’ brothers, Agamemnon and Agathius Eppethemio. They are both gay and are both prone to violence, but tonight they were the perfect hosts. All my friends were there: Alchy Malcy, Fat Pat, Cue Ball, Trevor, to name but a few. We had lots of fun. On the way home, I pulled over in a lay-by and felt sad. Cheryl gave me a hug. We French kissed. SUNDAY The eve of my adventure. Cheryl was in floods of

tears for most of the day. I made her favourite sandwich for lunch and chucked in a couple of Frazzles. She likes it when I do that. I spent the afternoon packing my things for the journey. The zip on my tuxedo trousers is bust! There’s nothing I can do now. Cheryl advised me to wear pants, as this will stop my penis from falling out onstage. I feel scared. I feel a bit lonely. Cheryl seems a little distant. Am I doing the right thing? What about the café? Who’s going to clear up the condoms? Shitsticks…. (Angelos will clear away the condoms.) l You can find Brian Gittins: Roadside Café Owner at Pleasance Courtyard, at 4.45pm, 5 – 31 August (not 12 or 19).

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> F E A T U RE

Tom Carter’s guide to

Flyer design

You’ve written an award winning show but without proper marketing you could be playing to one man and his dog. William Andrews talks through marketing with his manager

T: Hello? S: I haven’t got your fucking money T: It’s me, it’s Tony Carter. S: Oh – sorry Tony. I’m having a bit of trouble with the Underbelly at the moment. How can I help? T: Well, I thought we should talk about the poster S: Right you are - what you thinking? T: Well, because it’s my first year, something simple really. Just a black and white picture of me in a café or something – I thought maybe even a passport photo? S: Fuck off! You havin’ a laugh? ‘Cause you fucking won’t be. Naaaah, mate. What you want is a picture of you smiling – preferably ecstatic. Like you at the bottom of the stairs with a funny jumper on. T: What’s a funny jumper? S: You’re the fucking comic mate – you work it out. T: Right. S: And you wanna be doing something. Shrugging with your trousers round yer ankles. Like bananas for guns? T: Er… S: Yeah – infact that’s a fucking good title. You thought about a title? T: I thought ‘Tony Carter: Today’s Special’ S: Fuck off – go with bananas for guns. T: Right. S: What about quotes? T: Well, I haven’t got any yet. Like I’ve got some – I thought I’d try and go subtle. S: Have you done Amused Moose? T: No, not yet. S: Stick one on anyway, they wont

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mind. T: Well, they might. S: And stars? T: I got four from my old uni magazine. S: Which uni? T: York. S: Stars are stars. Stick ‘em on. Chortle? T: He said I should work on my mic technique. S: Fuck me. Right, miss that – put a funny one from your mum. T: What do you mean? S: Forget it. You done any telly? T:  Hardly. Well, I was an extra in The

Inbetweeners. S: Gold – stick it on. T: I’d rather not. I sort of know them. S: If they’re fucking friends, they’ll understand. T: I wouldn’t say they’re friends. I mean, it was sort of a favour… S: Don’t worry about the rest. I’ve got some shit on a DJ, he says what I want for coke. T:  Oh. S: You’re still free for the karaoke job Wednesday? T:  Yes Steve. Yes, I am. S: Great.


> S H OW S

Must see event Once they’ve finished their solo shows you can catch a the cream of the fringe performing at one of these great events. Late ‘n’ Live

Marcus Brigstocke

Party

The Early Edition

Party

Cast aside the morning papers, switch off the never-ending rolling news and instead catch a lunchtimes worth of appetising satire. Marcus Brigstocke, Andre Vincent and a host of special guests batter their way through the day’s current affairs with their usual barrage of Steven Gerrard-esque uppercuts…if that reference is still topical? Live from Underbelly’s pasture, 6th30th at 12.25

Ever wanted to change the world but had no idea how? Or why? Well if Tom Basden’s new play is anything to go by you’re not the only one. Why not pick up some tips on how to get started with the help of Tim Key, Johnny Sweet, Anna Crilly and Katy Wix. At the Assembly rooms, 6th –30th at 14:25 Kristen Schaal

Richard Sandling

Richard Sandling’s Perfect Movie Movie magic from everybody’s favourite VHS enthusiast Rich Sandling. Youtube, myspace and Fix film critic Rich oversees appearances from tons of guest comedians all performing specially written film related material, not to mention scene re-enactments from their favourite movies. Richard Sandling perfect movie at the Canons gate, 8th - 30th , 13.15

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The Fix Presents

Expect a wide array of comic talent, a lot of surprises and an anything goes attitude to comedy at the festival’s premier late night stand-up show. This is as much a part of Edinburgh as the castle, the Duke, the deep fried food, the shortbread (repeat general Scottish stereotypes until numb)… Every Friday Saturday and Sunday in August from 01.00

BBC Comedy Presents Another late night showcase this time laid on by Aunty Beeb. If it’s anything like their nationwide shows it promises a fantastic mix of huge, established names alongside some of the UK’s most upand-coming talent. Also, if it’s anything like their nationwide shows you’ll want to book tickets as soon as possible because these will sell out – fast. Live from the pleasance Dome 5th – 31st , from 11pm Phil Nicol

Your chance to get your hands on the magazine you’ve got in your hands right now but hey, you can never have too many. After all, The Fix makes a great gift for friends or, failing that, great gift-wrap for enemies. There’ll also be performances from some of our favourite Fringe performers. Live from the GRV, 7th, 14th and 22nd from Midnight

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Hegley’sBits Two poems, two limericks, and a drawing of a Roman that have nothing to do with John Hegley’s Edinburgh show ‘The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet.’

New Acquaintance ii We’d met in a bar in Dundee I’d said ‘On the door your will be’. He heckled my set and said ‘That’s what you get, if you let people come in for free’. Rothko In the Rothko room, the Rothko room, I sense I’m sat in a catacomb. A sense of something you might exhume. In the Rothko room, the Rothko room, the floating blues and purples loom. In the Rothko room, the Rothko room, you get a sense of suspending doom. In the Rothko room, the Rothko room, they’re side by side like a bride and gloom. But, then there’s the yellow ones

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Photo by David Belcher

Cork There was an old cutler from Cork who ate with a knife and no fork; crackers and cheese she could manage with ease but spaghetti she found was more awk ward.


> FEATURE

Pablo and Georges squaring up

Pablo and Georges squaring up Pablo and Georges, a while before the radio regularly in and out of each others studio, each is an artist, each is a Cubist, Pablo’s a Spaniard, Georges a man of France, with brushes for their batons they both conduct a square dance. The world it gets squared up, the fragmentation it gets done, and with the world safely in pieces the two men dine as one. Like Gilbert and George: Pablo and Georges. It’s fortunate the world’s not that which Georges and Pablo built with the vases all in pieces, all the sunflowers would wilt. The manner of their meeting, around 1904, Georges saw some of Pablo’s stuff and wanted to see more and maybe he went ‘Phwoar!’ The two had stuff in common like the future, he felt sure August 2 0 0 9

and going round to Pablo’s through the door he put a message, the text it was predictive and very very short ‘To our undiscovered memories’ or something of the sort. It’s early morning in Paris and the shutters fold away for Pablo and Georges it’s another glorious Cubist day, going for broke with the ochre and the grey. I see the duo sitting in their lairs, sitting on their art-directors chairs, trying to take each other unawares paying all their homage to the squares bits of daily papers and guitars make the world look like it does on Mars, Pablo will become Fablo how his future’s set to flare but will he ever be any happier than he was back there when it was Pablo and Georges Georges et Pablo all square. l John Hegley’s show, The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet, is at Pleasance Courtyard, at 12.50pm, 12-30 August. To win a copy of his new book, ‘The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet’, turn to page 131.

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Unzipped Four comics working together like a well-oiled machine. No separate agendas. At all. 5.20-6.20pm 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;29th August (not 12th or 19th) The Mercat Bar, 28 West Maitland Street, Edinburgh EH12 5DX Just eight minutes walk from the west end of Princes Street! Or two mins from Haymarket station. Go to www.goldenanorak.com for more information and a money-off meal deal at The Mercat!

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> C H U R C H I L L S A T B O> G QE&YA’’Ss

Ask a silly question ... To commemorate the Edinburgh Festival 2009, The Fix asked our favourite acts a load of stupid questions. We got loads of stupid answers. Luckily we also had loads of blank spaces to fill.

Andrew Lawrence

How many bags of laughter do you expect to generate at this years fringe - is this an increase on last year? 2,798,453,987,321,988,743. No. If you could take one piece of Edinburgh back with you what would it be? I wish to take nothing back home from Edinburgh but my dignity. Most degenerate Edinburgh experience? My life is not for public consumption. If your last Edinburgh experience were like a song what would it be and why? The Shitting Blood song, because that’s what the stress does to you. If you don’t know The Shitting Blood Song, it goes like this : “I’m shitting blood, I’m shitting blood, I’m shitting blood all day long/I’m shitting blood, I’m shitting blood, this is my shitting blood song/ Lalala lalalala lalala lalalala lalala lalalala oh-oh oh-oh oh”. What’s the worst/best thing that’s been said about you in the Edinburgh Festival press? Pah! I don’t read that shit. The best joke in the world is...? I don’t know any jokes, I’m a comedian. Scotland’s one true gift to this world is...?

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Nothing. It’s just a crappy extension of England, isn‘t it? It’s the bit of England that nobody wants, so we pretend it’s not part of England at all. I wish we could just chop the whole place off the rest of mainland England and let it fuck off out to sea never to be seen again. If you could carry round a pocket sized comic (dead or alive) to give you advice about Edinburgh or just have a laugh with who would it be? By pocket-sized, do you mean midget? I don’t know of any midget comedians. Midgets are notoriously

’idiot’s Guide to Stand-up’ workbook whilst possessing no charisma or sincerity whatsoever and then consequently make several appearances on ’Live At The Apollo’, building a live following of lobotomous dribbling spastics who would really be better off killing themselves than listening to the meritless, witless, moronic crap gushing out of your cock-sucking mouth like raw sewage into a sea of woe and subsequently selling your despicable merchandise from your trashy website to people who can’t afford it whilst the country collectively plunges further into debt, ignorance and catastrophe. How to be a mawkish, simpering, whimsical fuckstain and change the world through acts of niceness, instead of writing jokes, whilst generally being a disingenuous, pretentious, airyfairy, namby-pamby, wearisome, soul-raping cunt. How to persist with dark, edgy, subversive comedy of a kind that nobody’s interested in any more because you’re a one-trick pony and you can’t do anything else. You’re too feckless to go out and find a proper job and so you remain unpopular, unsuccessful and penniless in your one bedroom rented ex-council flat just outside Rickmansworth with a severe damp problem because you’re a fucking god-error and you will never ever achieve anything so you should probably stop breathing because it’s a waste of oxygen.

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surly and mean-spirited anyway, so I don’t want them around me. I’d only end up tripping over them. Who would be your top three fellow Edinburgh comics to go out on a bender with? None. They’re all a bunch of cunts. Where do you go in Edinburgh in August to escape the fringe? I disappear up my own arsehole. The three best topics to address in fringe show are? How to fill an hour with bland, homogenous, vapid showboating having learned everything you know from the

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l You can see Andrew Lawrence: Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes Of Fortune! at Pleasance Dome, at 9.35pm, 5- 3- August (not 19).

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> PA U L a n d L I O N E L

Showbusiness!!!! When The Fix heard that Lionel Blair and Paul Foot were appearing in The School for Scandal together, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the lord of the dance and head of the guild to have a conversation. Join them and The Fix as they discuss their play, Sammy Davies Jr., the first Emperor of China, and show business.

Harry Deansway: Are there he said, “I think Lionel Blair can do some silly poem or something, and any similarities between the it”, and he went - it was Michael everyone would laugh. Then when two of you? Mills, who did Some Mothers Do I got to university, everyone said, LB: There can’t be similarities. I’m ‘Ave ‘Em - the director said, “Yes, I “Ooh, you must go on stage and try a little bit older than him. think he could too.” And that’s how stand-up comedy”. And then I had Paul Foot: Your career has lasted I became a choreographer. I’ve this image in my mind that I would a bit longer... than my life. never had any training. do it just once, once in my life, just LB: Yes. I just celebrated sixty PF: Did you train as a dancer, so I could say I had done it. I mean, years in show business. I started though? I didn’t plan to do it as a career. I when I was three. I was very LB: No, I never trained as a dancer. always thought I was going to be young, you know? I’ve been lucky PF: Oh, you’re just self-taught? an accountant. I was dong a maths enough to have done everything... LB: I just self-taught. Yeah, in the degree at the time. So I did this I’m not into ballet. I’m not that sort kitchen or watching Fred Astaire thing in a little cellar in front of about at all. It kind of bores me. I know I and Ginger Rogers. On linoleum. thirty people. I was so nervous that shouldn’t say that, but it does. And then a lot of gigs came up: my heart nearly stopped before HD: How did you start I went on. I thought I was out in showbiz? going to die. Even though I “Although I’ve been in the LB: Oh gosh! I was a Wizard of Oz, I’m not really a had a microphone, no one munchkin in The Wizard of could hear me for the first friend of Dorothy’s.” Oz, in a pantomime. While I few minutes, because my was in that, somebody sent voice was so quiet. I could me for an audition which was for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs… And hardly say anything. Then, I started a play, to play a little boy. I went then I went into show business. saying things, and people started along and I got the part. And then, HD: How did your laughing. I didn’t even know for the first part of my life, I was a journey start, Paul? why, I was just saying things. luvvy, an actor. So until the voice PF: Well... When I was at school, They didn’t make any sense to broke, and until I was too old for I was very, very boring. I studied me, and people started falling little boy parts, I was growing and science and maths. I never went about laughing. When I came too young for grown-up parts. So, I to parties. I had friends, but they off - you know… it was a good became a dancer. And I went from were only other friends in the performance, but it wasn’t brilliant, thing to thing. All sheer luck. You maths class, with their boring but it was funny, and I just knew know, like I was a television dancer, conversations about equations immediately that that was going to and I did a few stage shows too, and things. I didn’t have any actual be my job forever. All my friends but I was a television dancer, and proper friends. I didn’t meet girls said, “Well, it was alright, but it the choreographer wanted to leave, or anything, or go to parties. Then wasn’t that great, you’re doing a and it was a series. He said to the when I got to about 15 or 16, or maths degree”, and I said, “No, director, “I’ve got a show to do in maybe 17, I think people realised that’s my career”. I lost interest Paris, and I’ve got to leave.” They that I could be a bit funny. I used in maths after that. I just started said, “OK, we’ll release you from to get up in maths class. My first doing open spots in pubs around your contract, but you must find performances were in maths London, and just built my way up, another choreographer for us.” And classes. I would get up and do and then down, and then up again,

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Lionel Blair and comedian Paul Foot

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Harry, Paul and Lionel having a chat

from there. LB: We’ve all been there. Ups and downs. You could have been another Carol Vorderman, if you’d stuck to maths. PF: Well, that’s not maths, that’s arithmetic. There’s a difference. LB: Oh, is there?  PF: Mathematicians pride themselves on being very bad at arithmetic. LB: Oh.  HD: So there are lots of ups and downs in one’s career? LB: I just used to push myself forward. I went from job to job, and I never turned anything down. You’ve just got to keep working, really.  PF: I think that’s the crucial thing - you must carry on. I mean, I had some terrible years in my career. In my gigs, when I first started, it would go so badly, and everyone would hate my comedy, but I just thought I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do, so I’d just carry on. There was nothing else to do, so I just carried on. In the end, it all came good.  LB: I went from show to show. And then a lot of the comedians used me in sketches. And Mike and Bernie Winters started calling me ‘choochie face’. I became like a personality. I

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LB: “We’ve all been there. Ups and downs. You could have been another Carol Vorderman, if you’d stuck to maths.” was the only choreographer where it was Lionel Blair and his dancers. They were normally the so-and-so dancers. The choreographer would never perform. I didn’t want to be a back room boy, I’m afraid. I wanted to be out there doing it. That’s how it happened for me. HD: So the play focuses on gossip. Have you had any experience like that in your showbiz career? LB: Oh, yeah. HD: What are your feelings on it? LB: Well, if it’s true, it’s true. It was like, “Lionel Blair seen in a club with a beautiful blonde...” and everything. “...On Valentine’s Day” PF: Were you? What was his name? LB: It was my wife. PF: Oh. LB: No, it was my wife. PF: The way you said it was very serious. It was like, “Come on Paul, that’s enough now”. LB: Although I’ve been in The Wizard of Oz, I’m not really a friend of Dorothy’s. I met Judy Garland,

though. HD: Present company excluded, who are some of the most talented people you’ve worked with? LB: Sammy Davis Jr. was absolutely one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever worked with. Ever. And I don’t think he can be topped. I suppose he was the forerunner for Michael Jackson in as much as he started when he was three years old. His father and uncle took him on tour, and he’s self-taught, as Michael was. And he did the impressions, and he could tap dance, and he could play every musical instrument there was to play. He was brilliant. He went for thirty years, and I can honestly say every time I went to see him there was something new, something different. Wonderful. HD: And did you do any work with Michael Jackson? LB: No, I didn’t ever have the chance, no. If only he’d stayed looking like he did in Thriller,

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> HP IALULLS aAnTdB LOIG > CHURC OENYE’ LS

because I thought he looked wonderful in Thriller. How those doctors - when he went to them and said “I want this, that, and the other…” - how they didn’t say, “You stay as you are, you’re beautiful”. But they just did it. PF: He must have had real selfesteem problems, and of course he had so much money, everyone just had to do what he said. It reminds me a bit of the first Emperor of China. He was like that. The first Emperor of China had all of these people who would do everything he said. Whatever he said… if he said, “Oh, I’ve just caught a giant dragon from that lake”, they’d all have to say, “Oh yes, Emperor, you have”, or they’d get their heads cut off. And he was a bit like that, he would just sack his staff if they said anything. LB: Absolutely. PF: And also, the first Emperor of China wanted to be immortal. He used to drink mercury or something, which, at the time, they thought would make you live forever. Of course, he died from it. And he was like that, wasn’t he, Michael Jackson? He wanted to be frozen. Actually, talking of cryogenics… I was once doing a gig - just a little gig in a pub years ago, and there

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was this open spot comedian, he was really not good at all - hopeless. He was a very boring comedian as well. But the only interesting thing about him was that when he died, he was going to be cryogenically frozen. There was a film crew with him, making a documentary. Then afterwards, they came up to me and said they’d been recording my performance, which had gone down very well - his had gone down very badly. They asked if it was possible to use the laughter, the sound of the laughter from my performance... LB: For his act?! PF: ...for his act. I said no. I told them if he wants to be cryogenically frozen, let people know that when he’s defrosted, the jokes are going to be no better. LB: He just died a death, cryogenically. PF: There he’d be, unfrozen. There’d be all that medical jiggery pokery to make him come back to life... Same jokes. LB: Yes! (Pause) No, Michael Jackson was... wonderful. HD: So who are some of the comedians you’ve worked with over the years?  LB: Bruce Forsyth, Jimmy Tarbuck, and - this is the first time I’m working with the new comedians, and that’s what I find so exciting. I’ve met all of them - I’ve met Marcus (Brigstock), and I’ve met Stephen K. Amos, and I’ve met the ones that the youngsters know of today. I mean, the people I’m going to mention, you know, Dick Emery, Harry Secombe, and Arthur Askey, I’ve worked with all of them as well. HD: Who was the funniest comedian you ever saw? LB: Tommy Cooper.  PF: I was about to say his name. He was just a genius.  LB: Oh, Tommy Cooper was a genius. Absolutely wonderful. Eric Morecambe was lovely, but Tommy

Cooper - he just had to walk on and say nothing, just go *mumbles Tommy Cooper impression* and that’s it! PF: What about Frankie Howerd? I always liked his performances.  LB: Frankie was kind of a sad comedian. Very sad. He said to me once… I said to him, “You look so unhappy, what’s the matter?”, and he said, “I never reached the heights that I feel I should have done”, and I went, “What? What are you talking about?” He said, “No, I never became a Bruce Forsyth or a Jimmy Tarbuck.” Because they got show after show after show.  PF: But I think he’ll be more of a legend than either of those.  LB: Yes, of course. Frankie was wonderful, a really funny man. But he was a sad man, really. I find a lot of comedians sad. Yes, a lot of them are sad in their life. PF: I’m not sad.  LB: No, no you’re not. PF: We’ve all got this thing, comedians and actors, I think, whereby we keep a childlike bit of us. We’re like children having fun.  LB: I always say I’m 49 plus VAT. That’s my age, and I refuse to be any older. I don’t look my age. PF: You don’t look your age, and you don’t act like it. You get people the same age as you who go around like, “Ooh, I need my stick”. But it’s partly in the mind. LB: Well, I think partly physical as you get older, but a lot of it is in the mind. It’s a state of mind. The play The School for Scandal, starring Lionel Blair and Paul Foot among a cast of many, plays at Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance One), at 4pm, 5 - 31 August (not 12 or 19). l You can also see Paul Foot’s solo show at Underbelly, at 7.45pm, 5 - 30 August (not 17).

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The biggest bollocks in showbiz

Malcolm Hardee sadly passed away in 2005 but not without leaving a legacy of theft, hell-raising, and nurturing some of the most unlikeliest of future comedy stars. His former publicist John Fleming shares some of his best anecdotes and publicity stunts with The Fix.

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he late Malcolm Hardee drowned in 2005. Some said they were surprised because they thought his bollocks would have kept him afloat. Everyone knew he had the biggest bollocks in showbiz. Both literally and figuratively. As one journalist pointed out, “to say that he has no shame is to drastically exaggerate the amount of shame that he has”; and in its obituary, The Times correctly wrote that,

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“throughout his life he maintained a fearlessness and an indifference to consequences”. In Edinburgh, this led to some legendary publicity stunts. In 1983, performing at The Circuit - a series of three adjoining tents in a construction site with a different show in each ten - he became annoyed by what he regarded as excessive noise spilling over nightly from American playwright and performance artist Eric Bogosian’s neighbouring tent. Malcolm found a nearby tractor on the construction site and, entirely naked, drove it across Bogosian’s stage midperformance. Rivalling this stunt in Fringe infamy, in 1989 he and Arthur

Smith wrote a rave five star review of Malcolm’s Fringe show, and successfully managed to get it printed in The Scotsman under the byline of the influential comedy critic William Cook. Audience numbers improved; The Scotsman was annoyed; Malcolm was delighted. At the Fringe in 1996, Malcolm attempted to sabotage American ventriloquist David Strassman’s Edinburgh show by abducting the act’s hi-tech dummy, holding it to ransom, and sending it back to Strassman piece by piece in return for hard cash. The plan tragically failed, and Malcolm phoned comic Ricky Grover for protection. Everyone who saw Malcolm

And he burned down two cinemas for reasons never entirely clear, as I know he liked watching a good film. August 2 0 0 9


perform - and many who met him - thought they knew his character: outrageous, shambolic, disreputable. But, despite his image as a Sarf-East London Jack-the-Lad, he was a highly intelligent grammar schooleducated boy who was, briefly, at public school (he got expelled, of course). He loved knowledge. He was very good at figures. But he did tend to show off. I once saw him put a live goldfish in his mouth midconversation to get attention. Not a piece of carrot. A real goldfish. He claimed that as a choirboy he set his Sunday School piano on fire solely so he could make a joke about the Holy Smoke. And he burned down two cinemas for reasons never entirely clear, as I know he liked watching a good film. He once arrived on a stolen white horse to impress a girlfriend, and then, though not mechanicallyminded, graduated to car theft including a Cabinet Minister’s Rolls Royce - which led to him spending most of the 1970s in various prisons. In 1986, his house was searched by police officers who were looking for crumbs (with magnifying glasses) two days after Freddie Mercury’s £4000 40th birthday cake was stolen - it was 12 foot long, pink, and shaped like a Rolls Royce. No crumbs were found by the officers, because Malcolm had been forewarned of the police raid and had pre-emptively vacuumed the carpet and donated the cake to bemused old age pensioners in a local nursing home. A few years later, Malcolm was detained and questioned by the Special Branch when he was found in the middle of the night on a hotel balcony outside government minister Michael Heseltine’s room, wearing nothing but a pair of socks

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and a leather coat containing £5200 in cash and a pack of very pornographic playing cards. (His defence was that he thought it was a friend’s room.) I have talked to people who were present in the hotel at the time, and they describe the Special Branch officers as looking “stunned”. The Daily Telegraph called him “godfather to a generation of comic talent”. Almost every significant new comedian from the early 1980s

has to be truly original) and, from this year, the new Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award for best Fringe publicity stunt. Both awards will be made until 2017 because the next nine trophies for the first award have already been made. There is no physical trophy and no money for the second award. Just the prestige. I‘m certain Malcolm would have approved, and probably have asked the winner to lend him a tenner.

Malcolm was found in the middle of the night on a hotel balcony outside government minister Michael Heseltine’s room, wearing nothing but a pair of socks and a leather coat containing £5,200 in cash and a pack of very pornographic playing cards. onwards was agented, managed, or promoted by him, and/or passed through one of his clubs - notably the Tunnel Palladium in Deptford (1984-1988) and Up The Creek in Greenwich (1990 onwards). He helped many, many comedians in their formative stages - Keith Allen, Jo Brand, Jenny Éclair, Harry Enfield, Harry Hill, Paul Merton, Al Murray, Vic Reeves, Jerry Sadowitz, Jim Tavare, Johnny Vegas et al. And that is why there are now two annual Fringe Awards in Malcolm’s name – the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality (but, ye gods, your style of comedy

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The RDA was like Russia in 1917-full of optimism, but doomed to failure...

The RDA launched in July 2000 on cult TV channel BBC Choice. It pushed the boundaries of the chat show format and gave opportunities to untried talent, but ended in nervous breakdowns and disaster. Here, one of the UK’s best stand-ups - former host John Gordillo - and some of it’s contributors, talk to Ian Greaves about why, in hindsight, the show was sadly never going to work.

The Greatest Chat Show You Probably Never Saw It’s morning: a weekday in May 2001 much like any other, but for presenter John Gordillo and producer Neil Mossey, the creators of The Recommended Daily Allowance, it’s time for an almighty bollocking. The previous night’s show resembled a car crash. It was National Phone in Sick Day, and it amused the programme makers that the scheduled producer hadn’t made it in. So they phoned him and, after a great deal of chiding, he not only exploded with rage on-air, but resigned into the bargain. Being a prerecorded show, they could have started August 2 0 0 9

again, but instead they ploughed on through the shell-shock. “It’s an example of why the show was great, but not great,” says its host today. A wilful, messy, and often compelling half hour show running from Monday to Thursday, it was that rare case of a series commissioned with instructions to be utterly experimental. Yet by the time the producer resigned, Jon Plowman, the BBC head of comedy, decided to rake them over the coals for what he saw as “a breakdown in standards”. “Breakdown? It’s a breakthrough!’” came Gordillo’s reply. “Which shows how fucking far off the scale I was by

that point”, he reflects now. John Gordillo graduated from film school in the early-90s, and directed the early live videos of Eddie Izzard before developing his own career as a standup. He first met Neil Mossey courtesy of fellow performer Will Smith, who realised that the pair had very similar video collections and should meet. A shared love of early Letterman shows was the catalyst for their own series, a deeply post-modern ‘anti-show’, reacting against formulaic series of the age like TFI Friday and The Jack Docherty Show, which were, according to Mossey, “a super-served format”. A major gripe was how programmed w ww.thefixonline.com

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they were: topical monologue – guest – audience interaction – guest – band – credits. “Those shows are all overproduced”, adds Gordillo. “And they don’t pay attention to the event. There’s no joy taken in the process of making television”.

Shining light in a sea of shit Launched in September 1998, BBC Choice had a tiny budget of £20m per year and was considered an embarrassment within Television Centre. Their early schedules were an awkward mix, lurching from repeats of mainstream dramas like EastEnders and Jonathan Creek, to cult comedies like Chewin’ the Fat and Mitchell & Webb’s ropey sketch show, Bruiser. One of the few original programmes was Liquid News, a long-lasting variant on the Heat magazine aesthetic, hosted by the now sadly departed Christopher Price. It was an odd station, without much of an identity. In late 1999, spurred on by the arrival of new controller Stuart Murphy, Mossey requested a meeting. Murphy’s background included MTV’s Most Wanted with Ray Cokes, a messy

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show in which the crew could be heard and seen. It was serendipity, then, that Gordillo and Mossey were coming from a similar place. When he agreed to pay them a visit at their office, they staged a live pitch, talking him through their proposal with writers, a designer with mood boards, and even newsreader Philip Hayton all popping by, the latter simply popping his head round the door to wish them luck. The room swelled with bodies, and by the twelfth new arrival, Murphy had clearly got the idea. It was this capacity for controlled chaos that came to define The RDA. The series launched on 3 July, 2000 for a four-week run. Every episode was taped ‘as live’ from 7pm, and aired four hours later. Gordillo took the lead, but used the crew heavily, as well as friends from the circuit like Phil Nicol, Paul Foot, and Brendon Burns. The programme was hugely selfreflexive. One episode was overtaken by overspill audience members who had come to Television Centre expecting to get into The Generation Game, but finished up in front of RDA instead. Gordillo thought it would be a great idea to pay the competing show

a visit - with Britt Ekland’s assistance, of course - with the ambition of getting a live message relayed from its host, Jim Davidson. This took the cameras outside the studio environment and into drab corridors, showing the inner workings of television like few other shows deigned to. “We always thought: if something more interesting happened, let’s just follow that,” says Gordillo. “We can do what we’ve prepared some other time.” The old ladies got what they wanted, with the downside that the floor manager of The Generation Game made such a fuss about his authority being challenged that The RDA was grounded for two weeks. Yet this only made them stronger. From their office window the team had a perfect view of the Television Centre exit, and soon someone had the bright idea of training a camera on it 24/7. This would result in the nightly ‘What Time Does Huw Edwards Leave the Building?’ feature, a popular sweepstake which always ended with the winning crew member getting the next day off work. It was this facility to generate material out of slim pickings that helped to

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make the show determinedly individual, but what made it so compelling was the notion that the host was only just keeping his head, endlessly reacting to events around him. “There was no hiding place on a daily show,” he says today. “The charm was that we didn’t have this cold, mechanical, unyielding, smooth host.” Often, The RDA could be confusing, and look astonishingly unrehearsed. There was an awkward use of topical jokes, almost pulling against the format, and it wasn’t particularly angry either. “We were always interested in the lateral and the surreal,” says Gordillo. “We were just enjoying the oddness of things. Around then, the culture was collapsing. The divisions between news and entertainment were just falling apart.” By series two, the writing was on the wall. Before they aired, Murphy suggested that The RDA might become an all-year-round programme, with a different host each month. Clearly, everything that made the show unique and personal was destined to be squeezed out, so the team refused. The controller now had a clear vision for BBC Choice, with a bold schedule of edgy new comedies – That Gay Show, Attention Scum, Fun at the Funeral Parlour – alongside reality entertainment fluff like Mark Owen’s Celebrity Scooters. The channel was well on the road to what we would now recognise as BBC Three, right down to the water-torture repetition of Two Pints re-runs. Broadly speaking, Murphy’s philosophy was that digital shows should either use familiar names in new formats, or new names in familiar formats. The problem, as Neil Mossey remembers with good humour, was that The RDA managed to be neither. “The show was so violently different every night,” argues Mossey, “that the viewer didn’t actually know what the show was.” John Gordillo: “The erroneous assumption that we made was, ‘Oh, everyone knows what a talk show is and is bored by them, so let’s

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just work from there’. An absolute mistake, because you have to make it friendlier”. Looking back, both Gordillo and Mossey wish that they had listened more. Even so, the series represents a true ‘what if?’ for the genre.

Gordillo the stand-up With the series now finished, Gordillo became a host for hire on a variety of failed pilots. He eventually drifted back into stand-up, the medium from which he had his big break, this time a lot more committed to the cause. “The first time I was character-led, I wanted to create something that embodied certain things that I liked. I look back at those times of my career and think, ‘Ugh, no, that really isn’t what I’m about now’. I looked around at the circuit and it was quite laddy, which I found incredibly boring: crafted but dull as shit, and that pushed me to thinking, ‘Well, what is my style?’” Crippled by stage fright, John spent a lot of time thinking about this during The RDA. “A bad gig wasn’t just a bad gig. It was a crucifixion of my life”. The RDA ended up being a welcome distraction. When it was all over, he eventually plucked up the courage to give stand-up another go, taking Free to Edinburgh in 2007. Last year’s wellreceived hour was Divide and Conga. 2009 sees the debut of Fuckonomics, a look at the economy of sex, its nature, and its costs. “This time I’m material-led, so I let the persona be driven by whatever the material is. Each piece of material becomes a hurdle to grow your persona to. I don’t really know what my persona is at the moment”. And that’s the thing. It doesn’t matter who he is - it’s what he does. With his team, he created one of the bravest/stupidest, most original shows of the time, and on his own he makes wonderful hour-long Edinburgh shows that are filled with texture, narrative, and pathos. Long may his identity crisis continue.

Highlights 21 July, 2000 http://tiny.cc/sGV3n (Part 2) tiny.cc/4a71n (Part 3) A great compilation edition, peaking in part three with the grand conclusion to ‘What Time Does Huw Edwards Leave The Building?’ 24 July, 2000 http://tiny.cc/h6O7X For no reason whatsoever, the team relocate to the studios of regional news show Midlands Today. Guest Ronni Ancona attempts a live weather report from 6:00. 27 July, 2000 http://tiny.cc/vPJJP A spontaneous American Beauty tribute at 7:14, delivered with the assistance of pop stars Daphne & Celeste. 27 July, 2000 http://tiny.cc/44TLr (Part 2) From 1:20, an end of series raffle dispenses with props from failed sketches. Film director Mike Figgis is in charge of the tombola. Undated, 2001 http://tiny.cc/ZnMZK” From 2:00, John sets out to discover why all sofas are made in Wales. This was an early item by Dan Tetsell and Danny Robins. 4 May, 2001 http://tiny.cc/8gBF9 (Part 2) http://tiny.cc/0gJr0 (Part 3)c Another compilation edition. Highlight from 7:00 is the weather cam game, possibly the most static and pointless use of satellite link-ups ever. It continues into Part 3, which also has from 7:00 a beguiling 2001: A Space Odyssey tribute with Lionel Blair as the obelisk. 16 May, 2001 http://tiny.cc/jXmfH (Part 3) Jimmy Saville’s appearance is odd enough, but it gets better when regular guest Brendon Burns attempts to wade in from 5:20.

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The

Klangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all here

When Fringe favourites We Are Klang got in contact about their new BBC Three TV show, we said weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to interview them about it. Sadly the request came about a week before we went to print. Ever the magazine to look for ways to get out of doing work, we let them interview themselves. Greg (tall), Marek (bald), and Steve (forgettable) answer a few questions about the forthcoming show. 102

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e

> FEATURE Tell us about the show… We’ve wanted to do something that people weren’t expecting, so we’ve chosen to focus on the much-maligned world of public sector work. The ethos behind the show was to highlight the problems encountered by middle management within the fictional ‘Klangbury’ town council, thereby giving a voice to a part of the workforce we felt is all too often overlooked. Ah, so it’s a narrative comedy set in a council? No, we’ve steered away from comedy to take on Big Issues. To the casual observer, a lot of the difficulties for council staff may sound trivial: people being late for work, colleagues handing in work with poor grammar and punctuation, people ordering stationery for themselves rather than the council. But unless these problems are nipped in the bud, they can escalate and cause intense friction in the workplace, which will eventually lead to longterm unhappiness and a lack of productivity. But isn’t this supposed to be a comedy?

Look, we’re as huge fans of Dennis Norden as the next man, but if everyone made jokes the whole time, nothing would get done. Jesus, broaden your mind, will you? That’s fine. We just thought you were doing a comedy. That was the initial remit, but we realised we had the chance to show people that if you work hard all day, then you can have a bit of fun at the end. Alright? Happy? So are there any jokes in it? One at the end of each episode.  One joke?  Yes. One.  Is anything in the show from your live show? No, no, no. Nothing - not even our faces.  What was your favourite part of the filming? Steve: I got hoisted into the air by some delightful burly homosexual dancers during one scene. That was jolly pleasant. Marek: I enjoyed the scene where I got off with a dog. Greg: I enjoyed the scene where Marek got off with a dog. Any familiar faces to look out for in the show?

The wonderful Debbie Chazen plays the Mayor, and comedy circuit legend Dave Ward is her mute sidekick, Leslie. Lorna Watson is ace as Klangbury’s mentally ill local news reporter. Also look out for cameos from Waen Shepherd (Gary Le Strange), Alun Cochrane, pussy hound Paul Chowdhry, and, last but not least, Ainsley Harriott. What’s next for Klang? We’re planning to film our live DVD towards the end of the year. Steve’s getting married. Then after that, we hope to kill ourselves. What will you miss about Edinburgh this year? The sense of desperation, fear, exhaustion, and alcohol poisoning. Any recommendations for the Festival? Marek: I directed a sketch show called ‘Cardinal Burns’ - very funny boys. Greg: Welsh heroes Lloyd Langford and Rhod Gilbert. Steve: Celia Pacquola and Felicity Ward are both doing shows. They’re amazing. l Catch them on their new BBC Three TV Series, 10.30pm,

ree e et ,

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TWO SUNS OUT NOW

2009 BARCLAYCARD MERCURY PRIZE AN ALBUM OF THE YEAR “EXCEPTIONAL” THE TELEGRAPH

“INTOXICATING” Q MAGAZINE

‘’

Project5:Layout 1 27/07/2009 12:44 Page 1

THE SUNDAY TIMES


> LIVE

Keeping up appearances The Fix’s guide to the best live comedy in the UK this month

Great Live Comedy Moment!

Reggie Watts Comedians are not really meant to be cool. Infact, it’s a category that Reggie Watts inhabits almost entirely by himself. This is a rare chance to see the beatboxing funnyman taking musical comedy to a whole new level. 27 July - 8 August: Soho Theatre, London, W1

Ross Noble: Latitude Festival 2008

In a moment of Andy Kaufman-esque magic, Noble escorts his audience out of the Comedy Tent to a nearby vegetarian food stand, leading them in a chant of “Sausage Roll”.

Can’t be bothered to leave your house? Buy a DVD of live comedy!

Doug Stanhope Check Out This Venue! Union Chapel When not being used for holier purposes, Islington’s Union Chapel is known for putting on some heavenly comedy bills. Check out their website for more details: www.unionchapel.org.uk

August 2 0 0 9

The deadbeat hero, firebrand, and presidential candidate is in London for one week only. An unrelenting comic who attacks his subjects with pitbull ferocity, Stanhope always puts on an unmissable show. 1-6 September: Leicester Square Theatre, London, WC2

“You’ve got to bring the air of a crack cocaine deal to these proceedings - if you go into a My Little Pony deal with any sense of innocence or naivety about you, they will fuck you over every step of the way”. Wil Hodgson – Skinheads, Readers’ Wives and My Little Ponies is available now on Go Faster Stripe.

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> LIVE

Listings Club Nights Hand selected club nights and comedy venues for you to enjoy some of the finest comedy across the UK

Birmingham

Cardiff

The Glee Club

The Glee Club

The Arcadian Birmingham B5 4TD www.glee.co.uk

Mermaid Quay Cardiff Bay CF10 5BZ www.glee.co.uk

Brighton

Edinburgh

Hull

Pave Bar 16-20 Princes Avenue Hull HU5 3QA www.pavebar.co.uk

Darlington Komedia Brighton

The Stand

44 Gardner Street Brighton BN1 1UN www.komedia.co.uk

Edinburgh The Stand 5 York Place EH1 3EB www.thestand.co.uk 

Bristol

* All venues listed below are proud stockists of the magazine. * The Fix does not except liability if you go to one of these nights and it is rubbish, however do let us know

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Glasgow

Comedy Box 210 North Street Southville BS3 1JF www.thecomedybox. co.uk

www.thefixonline.com

The Stand 333 Woodlands Road Glasgow G3 6NG www.thestand.co.uk

Hilarity Bites Comedy Club @ Inside Out Beaumont Street Darlington Co. Durham DL1 5SX Promoter: Neil Jollie Tel: 01325 362 364 Myspace.com/hilaritybites www.hilaritybites.co.uk

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>

Leicester

The Arts Theatre Bottle Rocket Comedy Club Firebug 1 Millstone Lane LE1 5JN Promoter: Adnan Tel:07759 384 690 bottlerocketcomedy@ gmail.com wwwbottlerocket. thisisdavid.com/

London

50 Frith Street Soho W1D 4SQ www.theartstheatreclub. com

Bloomsbury Theatre 15 Gordon Street WC1H 0AH www. thebloomsbury.com

Amused Moose Moonlighting 17 Greek Street W1D 4DR Promoter: Hils Jago Tel: 07970 524 234 comedy@amusedmoose. com www.amusedmoose.com

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Dirty Dicks Bishopsgate EC2N 4NR Promoter: Bob Slayer akabobs@gmail.com wwwbobslayer.com/ dirtydicks


.

> LIVE

Listings Gipsy Hill Comedy Club

Comedy Store 1a Oxedon Street SW1Y 4EE www. thecomedy store.co.uk

Downstairs at The King’s Head 2 Crouch End HillN8 8AA www.downstairsa tthekingshead.com

The Black Sheep 23 Westow Hill SE19 1TQ Promoter: Tom Searle Tel: 07941 766 608 Tom@showandtell comedy.com www.gipsyhillcomedy. co.uk/

Fat Tuesdays The Salmon and Compass 58 Penton Street N1 9PZ Promoter: Tiernan Douieb Fat.comedy@gmail.com www. salmonandcompass.com

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Belushi’s Bar 161 Borough High Street SE1 1HR Promoter: Alexis Dubus alexisdubus @alexisdubus.com www.myspace.com/ fallingdownwithlaughter

Just The Tonic Leicester Square Theatre 6 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX www.justthetonic.com

Roar With Laughter GJ’s Bar 62 The High Street Colliers Wood SW19 2BY www.roarwithlaughter. co.uk

Happy Mondays The Honor Oak 1 St. German’s Road SE23 1RH Promoter: Tom Searle Tel: 07941 766 608 Tom@showand tellcomedy.com www.happymonday scomedy.co.uk

Falling Down With Laughter

Knock2Bag Bar FM Hopgood Street W12 7JU comedynight@ knock2bag.co.uk www.knock2bag.co.uk

The London AirAccordion Society

Laughing Boy Comedy Club

36 Riding House Street W1W 7ES Promoter: Helen Arney helen.arney@gmail.com www.myspace.com/ helenarney

The Slug and Lettuce 1a Islington Green N1 2XH www.laughingboy comedyclub.com

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Soho Theatre 21 Dean Street W1D 3NE www.sohotheatre.com


Manchester XS Malarkey 343 Wilmslow Road Manchester Lancashire M14 6XS www.xsmalarkey.com

Laughing Boy Comedy Club Proud Camden The Horse Hospital Chalk Farm Road Camden NW1 8AH www.laughingboy comedyclub.com

Monkey Business

The Monday Club

Sir Richard Steele 97 Haverstock Hill Chalk Farm NW3 4RL Promoter: Martin Besserman Tel: 07932 338 203 martin_besserman@ yahoo.co.uk www.monkeybusinesscom

Tatershal Castle Kings Reach Victoria Embankment SW1 Promoter: Christian Knowles mondayclub@ ckproductions.co.uk www.ckproductions. co.uk/mondayclub

The Comedy Store Arches 3 and 4 Deansgate M1 5LH www.thecomedystore. co.uk

The Frog and Bucket 102 Oldham Street M4 1LJ www.frogandbucket.com

Milton Keynes Stockwell Lane The Porthole Comedy Club Live at The Chapel Union Chapel Compton Avenue N1 2XD www.liveatthechapel. co.ukliveatthechapel.co.uk

The Good Ship 289 Kilburn High Road NW6 7JR Promoter: James Everett theporthole@gmail.com www.thegoodship.co.uk/ comedy

Mixt Nutz Comedy Night

The Fix Presents Fatsmiles

The Tabard Pub 2 Bath Road Turnham Green W4 1LW www.imotion.com

100 Club 100 Oxford Street W1D 1LL www.thefixonline.com www.myspace.com/ thefixonline

The Sunday Special Up The Creek 302 Creek Road SE10 9SW www.sundayspecial.co.uk

Liverpool

Wavendon Milton Keynes MK17 8LU www.stables.org

Preston Stand and Deliver University of Central Lancashire Students’ Union Fylde Road PR1 2TQ www.uclansu.co.uk

Middlesbrough Comedy Central

Ten Feet Tall

17 Edward Pavilion Albert Dock L3 4AF www.jicomedy.co.uk

The Town Hall Court Room TS1 2QQ http://tenfeettall.co.uk

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Russell Kane 9 October

Jason Manford 14 October

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Box Office 020 7388 8822 www.thebloomsbury.com 15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH

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> LIVE

Where the magic happens We pick the best venues from around the UK to see live comedy

About Downstairs at the King’s Head Founded in 1981, but leased full time in October 1986, we reckon we’re probably the oldest comedy club still in it’s original home. We aim to promote and develop new comedy in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. We’re very proud of our audience, who are both knowing and considerate.

Famous Alumni Almost everyone has played here at some point or other - and many continue to perform here. In the last few months we’ve had Eddie Izzard, Frank Skinner, Lenny Henry, Lee Mack, Rich Hall et al drop in. We also promote a lot of live music - Snow Patrol did a Tuesday night in February (true!). All “before they were famous” stories are sub judice. 

Rich Hall

Best Heckle Waaay back... Chris Lynam was being annoyed by a particularly spoilt 14-year-old boy on the front row who would answer any rhetorical question. He was warned not to interrupt, was good for a while, but then piped up again. Chris stopped mid-sentence, pulled up a chair, put the boy across his lap and - to the loud

‘Chris stopped mid-sentence, pulled up a chair, put the boy across his lap and - to the loud complaints from his disgruntled earth mother - proceeded to spank him’ August 2 0 0 9

complaints from his disgruntled earth mother - proceeded to spank him in front of 100 cheering onlookers. The boy was quiet after that...and we could have marched into Belgium.

Stars of the Future Many. We see 15 new acts each week at our try out night. Watch out for Henry Paker, David James, and some other bloke.  Oh, and a girl. Any good Downstairs at the King’s Head anecdotes? After nearly 30 years of eight shows a week? No.

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Spitting Image

A milestone in television comedy, Spitting Image lifted satire to a new level for over a decade through the 1980s and ‘90s. New to DVD.

Super Gran

Granny Smith is accidentally struck by a stray magic ray beam and is transformed into Super Gran! Gudrun Ure stars as the fearless octogenarian superheroine in this fondly remembered children’s series, which guest stars Iain Cuthbertson, George Best, Spike Milligan, Lulu and champion strongman Geoff Capes - all topped off with a catchy theme song by Billy Connolly! New to DVD.

www.networkdvd.co.uk Packaging design © 2009 Network

OUT THIS AUGUST

AVAILABLE FROM


Churchill’s Bogeys News, views, comments and analysis ✽ 116 David Quantick ✽ 117 Neil Hamburger ✽ 118 Helen Keen ✽ 120 The Bugle ✽ 122 Poetry ✽ 126 Books ✽ 128 Comedy Bookshelf ✽ 130 Culture Club ✽ 132 Releases

Andy Zaltzman signs for The Fix

August 2 0 0 9

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> CHURCHILLS AT BOGEY’S

Standing up to stand-up David Quantick

Charity starts in Edinburgh, reckons four-time veteran David Quantick. He may have peaked early and never returned, but still reckons you should…just as long as you support those who don’t need it.

I

used to go to the Edinburgh Festival quite a lot. Well, I say quite a lot, but in reality it panned out as about four times. Twice with my old writing partner, Jane Bussmann, who used to go on the radio there; once as a journalist writing for the late Select magazine; and - oh yes - once in an actual show, Lloyd Cole Knew My Father, with Andrew Collins and Stuart Maconie, which went surprisingly well, ie. we got a radio series out of it, and Steve Coogan said we were the best thing on that year. Oh, and I got stuck up a hill, and thus acquired my one and only appearance on those headline boards they have outside newsagents. The

114

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headline: TERRIFIED COMIC IN ARTHUR’S SEAT RESCUE. All of which perhaps explains why I’ve never been back. I mean, short of winning the It’s Not Called The Perrier Any More Prize, what else could I do? Explode? I always felt a bit off at Edinburgh, anyway. For a start, like a lot of London comedy people, I never left the Pleasance courtyard, which meant that essentially the only people I saw for three weeks were people I knew already. And,

‘Fuelled by hate, envy, and crystal meth they may be, but Edinburgh means a lot to these performers’ unlike most of the comedy people there, I never went to any shows. This is not because I consider myself superior to everyone. It’s just that if they’re less funny than me, I feel depressed for them, and if they’re funnier than me, I want to kill myself. (I did once see

an act who was exactly as funny as me. Unfortunately, they were a secondary school from Moseley doing Oliver!) And this I suspect is how many people really feel at Edinburgh (except Steve Coogan, who probably tells everyone they were the best thing on this year). So if you are a performer, I say it’s time to be charitable and pretend you’re glad Ricky Gervais does 45 nights and takes all your audience. Cheer for all the people who’ve already got TV and radio shows and don’t need the publicity. Smile as you spend all your profits on one tiny poster that a Chilean puppet show papers over. And if you’re an actual member of the public who’s actually there to see some actual shows, remember: fuelled by hate, envy, and crystal meth they may be, but Edinburgh means a lot to these performers. Which is why both you and they may well be back next year. l ‘The Dangerous Book For Middle Aged Men’ by David Quantick is available from 22 October, 2009. A new series of One is on Radio 4, also in October.

August 2 0 0 9


Fuck You, Cocksuckers Neil Hamburger

When Michael Jackson died, Neil Hamburger lost his muse. A gaping, Jacko-sized hole remains. Nevertheless, his loss is our gain, for this issue at least. A man with this much inside knowledge on the King of Pop either deserves a better standing on life’s long ladder, or a long spell in a very secure space.

T

he End of an Era.It’s over. Rest in peace! Stand-up comedy: 1980-2009. No longer will comedians don sport jackets, step on to the stage, and bring delight and laughter into the hearts and minds of the drunken, unwashed riff-raff. Michael Jackson has died! It would be inappropriate to continue in the way that we have been going, considering the circumstances. In 2007, The International Forum On Human Distraction, a reputable think-tank based in Brussels, Belgium, commissioned an extensive study of stand-up comedy that found that a full 92% of onstage time by comedians worldwide was spent discussing Michael Jackson’s detachable nose;

August 2 0 0 9

his loss of the Neverland Ranch; his strange friendships with Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor; his unjust ownership of The Beatles catalogue; his defection from Motown Records to the Sony empire; the vitiligo on his penis; the length of his penis compared to that of a 12-year old boy; the amount of semen-mixedwith-Haagen-Daas-ice-cream that a teenage boy can keep in his stomach without throwing up; the visible dried semen stains on the Emmanuel Lewis doll Jackson frequently traveled with;

In 2007... a full 92% of onstage time by comedians worldwide was spent discussing Michael Jackson. the rumour that Tito Jackson was the brains behind a failed plot involving a New Jersey mobster being paid $17,500 to abduct and castrate Michael during the “Victory” tour; the discovery of a secret locked closet at Neverland full of dubiously-obtained photographs of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir changing their underwear in a

church locker-room; medical records describing the mysteriously protracted anus of beloved chimpanzee Bubbles (later traced to being a side effect of his love for Pringles); the provision in Michael Jackson’s 2009 contract with AEG to install five “full body-scan” security x-ray machines at the O2 Arena, with ALL body scans to be saved to a computer hard drive to be given to Jackson no later than ten minutes after the conclusion of each and every performance; the 22 semi-cryptic lyrical references to testicular and anal waxing found upon closer inspection of the lyrics on the HIStory and Invincible albums; the curious discovery of a tied-off condom filled with bloody ejaculate in a container of caramel-coated popcorn offered to Martin Bashir at a New York movie theatre one week after Bashir’s controversial Jackson documentary aired in the United States; and finally - of course - rumours of Jackson’s disgraceful disinterest in a “blow job” offered to him by Princess Diana after a sold-out 1985 performance in London. KFC reports that job applications from former comedians have increased a whopping 1800% since Jackson’s death… and the number is likely to increase. There is no reason to continue on.

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>CHURCHILLS AT BOGEY’S

Keen As Mustard Helen Keen

His nose might have seen better days, but if Ranulph Fiennes had Helen Keen’s foresight on his trips to the coldest place on earth, his ears would thank him for it. Helen runs through her Arctic Favourites Playlist for The Fix. in order to impress The Fix’s edgy readership! Certainly not! They’re THE INUIT! Apart from that, it’s a very good song.)

Velvet Underground

‘Springtime in Alaska’ Johnny Cash

Possibly my favourite band, in spite of our very different views on heroin. Stephanie is an intriguingly liminal figure. Why is she so icily detached? Is she in a coma? Suffering from a mental illness? Or in a Local Authority long-term temporary secretarial booking?

T

he Primitive Methodist Guide to Arctic Survival is inspired in part by my many, many spells of temping, but mainly by the race for the North Pole in the 1800s, and my devout great great great grandfather’s 1866 over-wintering in the Arctic on a whaling ship. After seeing the show, you’ll definitely want to spend winter in the Arctic in exactly the same conditions! My ancestor sang Methodist hymns to ward off scurvy, thoughts of poisoning his shipmates, etc. Here are five of my favourite chilly songs that you might like to intone along with during the sunless days:

‘Frozen’ - Madonna Frankly, this is no ‘Like a Prayer’, but you must have some Madonna. The lyrics may be clunky, though if heard

116

at the right/wrong time can still make you (ie. me) cry. (Is it about Sean Penn? I’ve never liked him.) ‘Stephanie Says’ - The

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‘Wow. Undeniably, brilliantly, bracing - if a bit focused on violently killing people you don’t care for.’ ‘Never Do a Tango with an Eskimo’ - Alma Cogan Apparently, “Eskimo” is offensive to Arctic people - they’re correctly called the Inuit, and are the long-suffering heroes of Arctic survival. (Oh dear, now I’m worried about including this one... it is not an attempt to flirt with ‘ironic’ racism

An excellent song. Nothing to add to that!

‘Cold as Ice’ - M.O.P.

Wow. Undeniably, brilliantly, bracing - if a bit focused on violently killing people you don’t care for. The hook’s a wonderful sample from Foreigner: “You’re as cold as ice/ you’re willing to sacrifice [our love]”. Does this hint at some sublimated erotic tension with M.O.P.’s gangland rivals? Has anyone ever dared ask? “Money never made me. Money never played me” M.O.P. insist. Until, that is, some advertising executives offered them an undisclosed sum for this song to promote Macleans “ice whitening” toothpaste. (Again, you might not want to point this out to M.O.P. in person.)

Catch Helen Keen: The Primitive Methodist Guide to Arctic Survival at The Gilded Balloon, at 12.45pm, 7- 31 August.

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> CHURCHILLS AT BOGEY’S

THE

BUGLE

AUDIO NEWSPAPER FOR A VISUSl world (visual edition) l DO NOT CONSUME BEFORE BREAKFAST l THE FIX

Hello. Sit up straight and read this properly. Good boy and/or girl (delete as/ if applicable).

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elcome to the new Bugle column, the textual offspring of the weekly podcast I, Andy Zaltzman, partially-qualified comedian, produce with Mr. John Oliver (star of The Daily Show (2006 - present day), and of John Oliver’s Nativity (1982)) for Times Online. The Bugle, which, for those unfamiliar with it, can fairly be described as a satiricoludicrist topicocomedicast, has found a snug holiday home here on these exact pages of The Fix − unquestionably the world’s leading publication in the A5 paper size, and therefore an entirely suitable host for this particular publishing parasite. In each column, I will address issues of phenomenal importance to all of your lives, predict which stories John and I are likely to be covering in the subsequent monthsworth of Bugles, and fill any remaining space with the kind of patented patent bullshit with which the podcast is more liberally sprinkled than a supposedly topical, satirical organ probably should be. One issue which no Fix readers can claim is not of at least tangential relevance to themselves is the prospect of humanity being destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. Like it or not, we would all be affected by the universal end of human life.

Back in the 1960s, it was assumed that this was an inevitable by-product of the modern age, a regrettable but necessary stumbling block on the path of progress against which humanity would at some point stub its collective toe. The world was always one squabbly Moscow-toWashington phonecall, or one twitchy, bored White House button finger, or one drunken dispute about the lyrics to My Boy Lollipop at the Politburo karaoke night, away from total kaboomic annihilation. This omnipresent feeling of impending doom explains why people in the 1960s spent so much time annihilating themselves with naughty substances, humping each other, and dancing around like idiotic penguins at the wrong zoo. At some indefinable

point, politicians realised that constantly threatening the world with radioactive Armageddon was not necessarily a vote-winner, and nuclear brinkmanship fell back down the list of world leaders’ favourite hobbies, behind such pastimes as tucking your chin into your neck whilst talking about something to make yourself look and sound like you know what you’re doing, table tennis, and breaking wind during official photographs at top-level summits (a tradition quite clearly started by Josef Stalin at Yalta, judging by the photographs). Now, however, thanks to the likes of Iranian hotpot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s Kim Jong-now-officially-genuinely-il, the nuclear snooker ball has been put back on the table, ready for another

tedious safety exchange that the global audience can’t really be arsed to sit up watching – like Ebdon against McManus, but with the threat of mass death at stake rather than a place in the second round of the UK Snooker Championships in Telford. Nuclear weapons thus demonstrate one of the immutable laws of humankind – that if something exists that can be used to make mischief, mischief will be made with it, as sure as a Spanish chef left alone and unattended in a kitchen with just an egg and a heavy-based saucepan for company will try to make an omelette. Thus, the nuke joins other objects whose very existence makes naughtiness unavoidable, such as the hosepipe, the catapult, the periscope, and the penis.

Download The Bugle at www.timesonline.co.uk/thebugle


In association with

and

4 REASONS WHY THE ENVIRONMENT MATTERS ♦ ONE

There is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that the human species would struggle without the environment. TWO

Tigers have had a tough enough time as it is, due to poaching, an inflexibly stubborn meatbased diet, and the fact that they make incredibly natty carpets. Losing the environment could be the last ferret up the drainpipe of doom for the stripybodied endangerment specialists.

THREE

Research shows that people are 23% stroppier when they have wet socks. If sea levels rise by even as much as the height of an average pair of shoes, the planet will become even angrier with itself. FOUR

Most real sports rely on the environment, whether for grass to play on, or for feasible air for participants to breathe and thus stay alive on during competition. A world without sport would be as pointless as a watermelon on the Titanic.

STORIES THE BUGLE WILL BE COVERING IN THE NEXT MONTH The Next Moon Landings

T

here were six moon landings in just over three years between July 1969 and December 1972, at a rate of one every 7 months. Since then, there have been none, at a rate of none every 36½ years. Another lunar landing is therefore long overdue. And, statistically, the chances must be that it could happen within the next four weeks. Peace In The Middle East

B

y the same reasoning, this is very likely to happen. It has been a good couple of thousand years, and then some, since eveAugust 2 0 0 9

rything was even close to being either tickety or boo in God’s favourite playground, so surely the Conflict Dice will soon come up double zero, and peace will break out. The Discovery Of A Cure For Swearing

S

cientists predict that, by the end of next year, a swallowable serum will be available across the counter at pharmacists that can cure most bouts of foul-mouthedness, from intermittent cussing to full-blooded habitual non-specific expletionism. Whether consumers want to take it, however, rightly remains doubtful.

The General Election

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hilst everyone is expecting Gordon Brown to hang on to the crumbling remnants of the one surviving biscuit in the Labour power packet until the last available second next May, The Bugle has a hunch that the self-styled Prime Minister will in fact surprise everyone by calling a general election for 20 August − the Thursday of the Oval Test match. His plan is that the entire electorate will be so distracted by the excitement of England potentially or actually regaining the Ashes, that literally no-one will vote, and the Queen will be left with no choice but to award him an extra five years in Downing Street on a technicality.

The Bugle podcast is available at www.timesonline. co.uk/thebugle.

Also available are the 80-plus back issues..., which provide the most unreliable available chronicle of the past two years of human history. 6.8 billion people could feasibly be listening to The Bugle around the world – can you afford to be the one who misses out?

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> poetry

Editorial I always loved the summer. Not for the weather or holidays, but for the double-sized comics and magazines that confirmed time was yours to waste. But wasting time is like wasting money which is, erm, a waste. So this issue features two events you can fill your spare time with while saving money, whichever end of the UK you happen to be in. Plus, if the heatwave continues and all those short shorts and short dresses are making you feel a little rampant, a cautionary tale of sexual abandon. Who said poetry wasn’t stimulating?

Storytelling Guy J Jackson’s Storytelling Corner Condomry He was carefully rocking the vending machine. These things fell on people. His chocolate candy bar was caught on a wire rib, though, so he had to do what he could. In rocking the vending machine he caught sight of a condom. It was just there on the floor under the corner of the machine. A wrapped condom, but when he stopped rocking the machine and picked the condom up and looked at it closely he found it had been tampered with. Some jokester had stuck a pin through the condom’s center. When he held the condom to the light he found the hole. He thought That’s interesting. Some wise acre stuck a pin hole in this condom. He thought Okay, but this is one of those amazing moments where you get what you need from the cosmos, because this will fool my girlfriend and I can get her pregnant. He thought back

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to their conversation about whether she wanted to get pregnant. What had she said? He didn’t think she was thrilled with the idea. He let the past echo. She’d said… She’d said… She’d said: “I don’t want a baby with you.” But he thought she’d change her mind once he got her pregnant. The maternal instinct. He flipped the condom over and over his shuffling fingers. He looked at a pattern of green in the floor tile that resembled a lion. He thought I may as well use it and get her totally pregnant. A baby’s a baby and babies are fucking cute as shit. The fifth period bell rang. He turned away from the candy and soda machines and headed for class, his afternoon dose of chocolate forgotten.-The Endl Guy is not busking at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but you can still make ‘friends’ with Guy at myspace.com/ storytellinguyjj.

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What did you call me? The Fix loves rejects, and in particular you could say the Poetry Section is made for and by the rejected, and this summer there is a new temporary exhibition - ‘Anachronism in the UK!’ - devoted to art and artists rejected by the bastion of the establishment, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which celebrates 241 years of exhibiting ‘thoughtful and delightful’ painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Rejected artists receive a polite but formal letter, highlighting the red phone

boxes at the rear of the Royal Academy building as the collection point of their forsaken creations. It is one of those red phone boxes that is the home of Anachronism in the UK! Anachronism in the UK! curator Mikey Georgeson is requesting that outsiders and anti-heroes come and leave their votive offerings of reject art in these vermillion beacons of Anachronistic-ness in the UK. This will form an exhibition and shrine to anachronists everywhere – a celebration of the

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Found Poetry corner

anarchy of imagination, and a messy, confusing experience for tourists just wanting to phone home. None of the work is for sale, although you are able to remove art – as long as you replace it with something of similar worth. Mikey will be leaving art and fanzines throughout the duration of the exhibition, including fragments from his stream of noxiousness saga based on his own reminiscences of the phone box at the end of his childhood street, when a call home for two pence was an act of allegiance to wonder and mystery.

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l Anachrony in the UK Hey! The Phone Boxes 6 Burlington Gardens Behind The Royal Academy The exhibition runs throughout the summer.

Air Care

Found by Jon Nelms, Islington

‘Found Poetry’ is the term given to anything the poet doesn’t create themselves: letters, shopping lists, handwritten adverts, diary entries, notebooks left on buses, anything. SEND US YOUR FINDS.

We are asking you to keep your eyes peeled for any discarded words. Scan them in and e-mail them to the Poetry Editor at info@ shortfuse.co.uk - please include a brief description of where you found your ‘poem’, and remember to give your work a title. Anyone who sends us something we publish will receive in return something we find in The Fix office.

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> poetry

I can’t believe it’s not Utter!

Poetry is very much a fringe activity. That’s not to say that some of it is not brilliant; it’s just that it can feel difficult to get into. One way to make it easier is to try it for free. Nathan Penlington spoke to Richard Tyrone Jones, poet, comic, and host of Utter! about one of the most varied shows at the Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe. NP: Could you explain what Utter! is? RTJ: Utter! is a performance poetry, spoken word, and fiction fusion night that we’ve been putting on for five years in various locations, presenting the cream of the crop of the spoken word scene. We have a lot of fun with it… we don’t take ourselves too seriously, even when we’re being serious, and having done all these gigs in London we thought we’d bring it up to the Edinburgh festival. So we’re combining lots of festival veterans, like John Hegley and Luke Wright, with a lot of comics who also do poetry and literary writing, like Simon Munnery and Tim Key. But we also wanted to get a lot of home grown Scottish talent on board, so Rob A. Mackenzie will be hosting a night. NP: What is going to make the Utter! show different from other fringe shows? RTJ: Because we have handpicked the best of the performers from

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throughout the fringe, and you can come along for free, sample them and see if you like them. Also, we’re the only spoken word cabaret at the fringe this year, and I think it’s very important that there is a show like this that has a variety of spoken word artists from not just across the spectrum, but across the world. You can find out what’s coming up because all the listings are up on utterspokenword.com, but if you just turn up on the day you’ll see a completely different show. And if I see there are people in the audience who’ve been there the previous night, I’ll make sure I perform different material. NP: You read that here in The Fix. No two poems the same from Richard Tyrone Jones throughout the Edinburgh Fringe. And if any Fix reader wants to go every single day to verify this promise, they are actively encouraged to do so. Utter! has always had a lot of theme nights. What are some of the themes you’ve got coming up at

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the fringe? RTJ: We’ve got ‘Utter! Sassenachs’, which is all the English people who like Edinburgh so much they’ve moved up there; ‘Utter!’s Got Talent’, ‘Utter! Misery’, ‘Utter! Love’, and - one of the nights I’m most looking forward to ‘Utter! Dead Puppets Society’. NP: Poetry is a difficult artform to encourage people in through the door for. It’s getting better, but there is still that resistance, especially somewhere like the Fringe, which is so dominated by comedy. If you had 20 seconds to pitch poetry to The Fix readership, what would you say? RTJ: Well, like comedy, it can be serious and funny at the same time. The best poems can make you think and make you laugh. With poems, of course, there’s often more rhyming… NP: Comedy that rhymes? Is that it? RTJ: Yeah. What could be better than that? NP: Well… RTJ: No. It doesn’t all

rhyme. NP: And it isn’t all funny. RTJ: Yeah. It’s funny comedy that rhymes, that isn’t always funny and doesn’t always rhyme. NP: OK, we got there in the end. RTJ: Yep. That is totally unambiguous. NP: All good Fringe shows have a press gimmick to help draw in the crowds. What has Utter! got up its sleeve? RTJ: Well, we’re holding a Cool Hand Luke-style donut-eating competition

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to tie in with the Donut Press night. NP: Wow! One of my favourite spectator sports is competitive eating. But in this country, we’ve only got the mince pie eating competition that happens in November. RTJ: I hate mince pies. NP: But you’ve got a donut eating competition. Amazing. RTJ: Yep, come along and see if you can beat possible contenders John Hegley, Tim Wells, and Tim Turnbull at donut eating. That will be happening at

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the venue on August 15, an hour before the show, so there might be vomiting throughout the show. Either bring your own donuts or some money for donuts. They will all be of a standard size, jamless, with holes in. We will try to ensure that all the holes are the same. I think the time limit will be five minutes. NP: That could be a lot of donuts. Can people have a drink while eating? RTJ: You are allowed a drink, yes, of pureed donut.

NP: Have you informed the Competitive Eating Federation? RTJ: Is there a Competitive Eating Federation? Oh my goodness! I certainly will do. If I charged people money for entry, I could make a big profit on this. NP: Well, have you ever seen those television programmes where they attempt to renovate a restaurant or hotel, and they always say: “I know what’s gonna work, let’s have a massive eating competition”. They always do that. Ramsey loves it. He’s the first to say, “I know what will get the locals on side. A competitive eating competition”. So you’re in good company. RTJ: Yeah. Maybe we could invite an Ethiopian kid along and let him enter for free. NP: Oh dear. No. RTJ: Well, otherwise it might be seen as a bit sick, encouraging overeating. NP: I see… Well, you can die from overeating, can’t you? RTJ: You can. Hopefully someone will. That would be free publicity for the show. NP: Oh dear. Again. It would be horrible if it was John Hegley. One of the world’s leading competitive eaters is a very petite woman. I think her technique is to just eat once a day, but eat a lot. RTJ: I once won a bean eating competition for Comic Relief at school. NP: Did you? How many

beans? RTJ: Oh, it was bowls of beans, rather than individual beans. I think it was probably approximately - 7,293 beans. I think they just weighed our craps afterwards and then calculated… NP: Erm, OK… (nervous laughter) RTJ: I will reign it in for the show, ladies and gentlemen, this filth … unless you enjoy it. NP: Pitching your show in 15 seconds is something you’ll have to get used to, so one more pitch, this time about Utter! Let me get my timer, and then we’ll know it’s real. OK, start…NOW. RTJ: All your favourite spoken word artists including John Hegley, Jude Simpson, Luke Wright, Tim Key, Richard Sandling, Simon Munnery, plus all the favourites you haven’t heard yet. Every day, 5.30pm, a new show, absolutely FREE! Is that it? NP: Yep, that’s it. Sad thing is you didn’t get the venue in. RTJ: Oh, shit. NP: Never mind. It’s not radio. l Utter! runs as part of PBH’s Free Fringe 8 - 29 August, 5.30pm, Fingers Piano Bar (Venue 221). For daily line-ups see utterspokenword.com Richard Tyrone Jones’ new book, ‘Germline’, has just been published, and is available for £6 from vintagepoison.co.uk.

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> BOOKS

Book Reviews Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where variety is indeed the spice of life. Today I have seen an existential production of Hamlet, where the great dane himself was in fact portrayed by a Great Dane; a peripatetic punk musical about the early life of Jeremy Clarkson; a disappointing mime piece called Absent, where we sat looking at an empty stage for an hour; and a production of Mein Kampf, starring

Cleo Roccos, which was somewhat obtuse but had a good tap-dancing number with dwarves that was worth waiting for. In and among all of this frenzy of activity, I decided to walk up Arthur’s Seat and have some time out with a good book and listen to some stand-out audio gems. To that end, we have chosen a heady mix of memoir, fiction, humour, and campaigning

‘Beginner’s Guide To Acting English’ by Shappi Khorsandi (Ebury Press, £11.99) This is the openhanded story of culture clashes, of a

young girl growing up in a strange country coming to terms with her disconnected roots, and an underlying sense of menace and threat, all set against a Britain eating itself in those weird Thatcher years. Childhood is an emotional minefield at

the best of times, but as Shappi eloquently demonstrates, when someone somewhere wants you and your family dead, it does put everything else into perspective. Beautifully written and with a novelist’s eye for detail. If you

‘My Dog is A Carrot’ by John Hegley (Walker Books, £4.99) Enter the celebrated poet’s weird, witty, bespectacled world, and meet the organic leek who has learned to speak, the octopus who gets a nasty shocktopus, the man who drew his cornflakes, and a whole cast of other interesting characters. Surprising, serious, and sometimes just plain silly, this is a collection

of poems even your dog might like. Unless your dog is a carrot too.

werewolf who roams the streets of Soho getting mistaken for Brian Blessed; a smug carbonneutral eco-couple; and a teenage girl who invites 45,000 MySpace friends to a house party. Nice.

By Simon Trewin journalism for you; and all our choices have come from performers who are here - live and in person - at this year’s Fringe. Enjoy. PS. Don’t forget, too, that in Charlotte Square Gardens there is a fullblown literary festival taking place until 31 August, where you can heckle real authors like Richard Dawkins, Douglas Coupland, and Irvine Welsh.

Book of the month

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‘Magnificent Bastards’ by Rich Hall (Abacus, £7.99) Comic genius Rich Hall introduces a series of magnificent bastards and lost souls in this hilarious collection of tall tales. Meet the man who vacuums bewildered prairie dogs out of their burrows; a frustrated

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‘Silent Comedy’ by Paul Merton (Arrow, £9.99) Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd – they are all come

only read one dazzling memoir by a Tehranborn comedienne who is appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, then make it this one. l Hear Shappi read from her book at 12pm on 24 - 31 August at the Assembly Rooms. to life in this fascinating volume. Paul’s total passion for the subject lifts off the page at every turn, and he brings a comedian’s insight to the serious business of making people laugh. His knowledge is awesome - as anyone who watched his BBC 4 series Silent Clowns, or attended the events he has staged nationwide will agree - his enthusiasm is infectious, and is to be found in abundance here.

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> FEATURE The Revolt of the Pendulum’ by Clive James (Picador, £15.99) Clive James’ latest essay collection shows James at his dazzling and versatile best. From the rules of grammar to the fundamentals of religion, from the culture of fandom to the cult of the critic, it’s all here: his customary wit, learning and understanding; his precise way with words and pointed comments; his ear for language and eye for detail; and his ability to focus on the finer points and the bigger picture simultaneously - not to mention the sheer scope of his subject matter. ‘Devil In Disguise’ by Julian Clary (Ebury Press, £14.99) To be honest, it is difficult not to love a book which

features a drag queen called Genita L’Warts that comes to us from the pen of a man whose memoir rejoiced in the title ‘A Young Man’s Passage’. With his trademark comedy noir, Julian Clary’s second novel is a hilarious riot of camp cabaret and murderous mayhem, which is effortlessly brilliant at times, and never less than sparkling.

Bermondsey. A wildhaired undergraduate, a roadsweeper, a failed rock star and a boozedup sexual adventurer, are just some of his many incarnations. Existential, dark, wry, and hilariously honest - This memoir is an absolute triumph.

hand. Not suitable for the French.

‘My Name Is Daphne Fairfax’ by Arthur Smith (Hutchinson, £18.99) ”My name is Arthur Smith, unless there’s anybody here from the Streatham tax office. In which case, I’m Daphne Fairfax”. In this long-awaited and wonderfully moving memoir, national treasure and Sid James lookalike Smith reflects on the nature of comedy and his days as a scruffy kid on the bombsites of

‘The Pub Landlord’s Book of British Common Sense’ by Al Murray (Hodder, £7.99) Speed cameras, mineral water, hummus, and the idea that we should all talk about our feelings because that would make things better, are all things guaranteed to get the Pub Landlord’s blood boiling. In a brave and campaigning book second only to ‘The Bible’ in its perspicacity and quality of moral rectitude, Al Murray sets the world to rights from behind the bar, with a good English pint of lager in his

‘Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola’ by Mark Thomas (Ebury, £7.99) Thomas is Michael Moore without the arrogance and Michael Palin without the charm, and it is a heady combination that brings a passionate honesty and an even-handedness to every issue he tackles. An award-winning campaigning journalist and a hugely engaging author, he brings a whiff of danger to every page of this journey into the dark side of The Real Thing, where the realities of Coke’s global domination has very little to do with teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony. A genius book from a genius man for all seasons.

hopeful nearly-men battling with the challenge of everyday life and doing their very best to meet the demands of the modern world, bikes start talking, genies appear that force you to guess what your three wishes are, bridges across the channel are built out of Lego, Parky loses it, and a young man tries to audition for Barbara Windsor’s part in EastEnders. Monty Python meets It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. But in a good way.

‘Mark Watson Makes The World Substantially Better’ (BBC Audio, £14.99) As a starting point in making the world a better place, Mark Watson performs a vital public service with this glorious CD – where else can you be totally freed from sin in a mere three hours without having to embrace religion? Nowhere. Using

a mixture of stand-up, sketches, and songs, he guides us through six episodes featuring those terrible temptations that are Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Pride, and Wrath, to help you cleanse your filthy soul. Packed too with useful tips (eg. next time you’re about to lose your rag - keep it and wipe something clean), he also invites the two Tims (Key and Minchin) to provide poetry and music and general distractions.

Audio Cowards, Series 2 (BBC Audio, £12.72) The complete second series of the smart and surreal sketch comedy from the comedy gods Tom Basden, Stefan Golaszewski, Tim Key, and Lloyd Woolf is an instant classic, and must-have for any serious comedy fan. Featuring a new batch of hapless and

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> BOOKS

Comedy bookshelf This month we are having a snoop around the comedy gems sitting on the bookshelf of the brilliant Shappi Khorsandi. She has performed all over the world and on countless radio and television programmes including Just a Minute, The News Quiz, The Now Show, Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, Question Time and Newsnight Review but happily still finds time to read a book or two – not to mention write a rather good one. Shappi is performing her show The Distracted Activist at Pleasance Above, 5-31st August at 7.40pm and also reading from her book A Beginner’s Guide To Acting English at Assembly Rooms 24-31st August at 12 Noon. Here are her comedy favourites……..

The Collected Dorothy Parker

Black Swan Green

(Penguin Classics, £12.99) ‘Her mind lives tidily apart from noise and wind and rain, and bolts the door against her heart, out wailing in the rain’.This is a line from one of my favourite Dorothy Parker poems. I wish I’d been able to sit next to her in New York and hear her be all witty and marvellous. Her dark humour has seen me through quite a few episodes of heartache.  

by David Mitchell

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 by Sue Townsend (Puffin, £6.99) I too was a spotty, misunderstood teenage poet and although outwardly I laughed at Adrian’s geekiness, secretly I wanted to be his girlfriend. I missed some of the humour when I was a kid and its one of those books I like to re-read. It’s a shame Adrian went on to be a chef. Radio Four let him slip through their fingers.

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(Sceptre, £7.99) This book takes me back to the halcyon days of being a teenager with a tense home life and hideous school life. I can laugh now because happily I am now blissfully old and getting older by the minute. It’s a book full of the stuff you spend your adult life shaking your head at and wondering how you got through it. We should all be closed for refurbishment at about thirteen and re-opened at seventeen and a half.

The Onion- Our Dumb World (Orion, £12.99) This is the funniest, most politically incorrect world atlas you will ever find. It is eye-wateringly, pantwettingly rude about every country, its customs and its people. It makes Sacha Baron Cohen look like a diplomat.

Reasons To Be Cheerful by Mark Steele (Simon and Schuster, £7.99) Mark Steele’s journey through his years of protesting ruined my holiday in Barcelona. I stayed in my hotel room and pulled the curtains to block out the annoying sun as I cried myself laughing through this book. A proper leftie laugh and much more fun than looking at stuff.

Asterix and Cleopatra by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo (Orion, £6.99) I used to hide in the loo when I was in trouble when I was a kid. Asterix books were slim enough for my brother to slide under the door to me so I would be entertained whilst in exile. I refuse to believe the original French are funnier. This one is the first one I read so will always be my favourite.

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> culture

Culture club

Narrow your cultural horizons with the Fix Thorn Birds - TV

Our guest reviewer this month is... Jane Bussman on the “The Thorn Birds” If you want to learn how to write drama – and, for that matter, comedy - you can’t do better than watch this astonishing piece of TV from 1983, the golden age of people with bouffant hair collapsing in sobbing fits, from Dallas to Dynasty to Grange Hill. This Australian saga spanning, I dunno, some awful plastic crows’ feet on Richard Chamberlain, and unconvincing grey streaks in retro hottie Rachel Ward’s hair, was the biggest TV miniseries of all time after Roots, and you’ll see why. A gay man playing a priest fights off a sex-crazed dogshooting pensioner, who keeps grabbing his tits and sucking

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his finger when he tries to jam a communion wafer in her witchy mouth; then the priest sleeps with a girl he mentored from primary school age á la René and Celine Dion. It tells the story of an ambitious young priest, banished to a sheepy Australian outback for dissing a bishop or something (I forget), whereupon he reckons he can con a rich old spinster (played with pure, granite-counter-dissolving malice by Barbara Stanwyck) into leaving all her money to the church. But she wants something in return, namely his wrong end. It’s stalemate until the arrival of a hot young five year old, who grows

into Rachel “Smouldering” Ward in about ten minutes flat. The vicious old bat gets jealous, and suddenly we’re on a collision course of oestrogen-fuelled lust and revenge. Porn for women, the acting is abominable - virtually no scene goes past without someone getting crushed by an unconvincing wild boar, and you want to punch the quasi-paedo, god-bothering hero from the first five minutes of this eight hour saga. Yet it is completely gripping, a perfect lesson in how to hold your audience whether you’re a stand-up, a drama writer, or just regaling someone in a pub. I strongly advise you to rush to the Previously Viewed section of your local public library and slam three pound coins on the counter. PS. I am not joking. Jane Bussman l Jane Bussman’s book on celebrity journalism and genocide The Worst Date Ever is out now.

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> C HU R C HILLS A T B OGEY ’ S Bill Cosby - Album

Bill Cosby sings Hooray for the Salvation Army Band! For every credits sequence performed while in dire need of clearing his bowels; for every lamb that lost its coat to keep him in Christmas jumpers; for each and every time Mrs. Huxtable busted him trying to open his own fridge, haha; with the food in it that he partly paid for!; for every former child star’s cocaine habit; for every Ghost Dad; for every… haha, the fridge; for every unnamed Canadian woman’s hand he allegedly placed on his genitals…

For each and all of these, there is a note on ‘Bill Cosby Sings…’ for which you can forgive him. It’s Bill Cosby in a red leather studded waistcoat, rubbing funk all over ‘Reach Out (I’ll Be There)’, ‘(I’m A) Road Runner’, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, and other bracketbased songs, in as straight a manner as he can muster. Buying a record solely on the basis of its cover is rarely this highly recommended. Tim Milner

Jason Statham - Film

Jason Statham is the greatest actor alive He’s surpassed Paul Rudd as my hetero man crush. I want him to be my best friend in real life, and I want to know all of the characters he plays personally. He knows the film he’s in is nonsense, yet still convinces you that he’s far better than the film itself due to his brilliant non-acting style of blank naturalism that makes all the professional actors around him look bad. Without actively aiming for it, Statham

has transcended acting itself to simply be ‘Jason Statham’. He is his own genre – every film is “A Jason Statham Film”. He’s the new Michael Caine - he says yes to everything. Years from now, we will look back and realise he is the most commercially viable British actor of the last 30 years, who has amassed an amazing canon of work. He’s totally awesome! Richard Sandling

John Hegley - Book

“The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet” by John Hegley John Hegley is well known for his own particular brand of comic verse, and his published output over the years is testament to both his popularity and his imaginative versatility. This new book is published by Donut Press (donutpress.co.uk), a small publisher that has been making a name for itself by producing beautiful little books by poets across the broad range of the poetic spectrum, and is unusual

for being Hegley’s first bilingual French/English work. It follows the Monsieur Robinet of the title through a series of comic vignettes which owe as much to French authors of the surrealist tradition like Alfred Jarry as to the British comedy of Monty Python. In all, it is a strange and engaging little book, one that will both make you smile and help improve your French. Nathan Penlington

l To win a signed copy of ‘The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet’ (Donut Press), just answer the following question: ’Life is like a cream donut...’ is the start of a line from one of John Hegley’s songs. How does the line end?

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> CHURCHILLS AT BOGEY’S

Releases

The Fix reviews the best DVD’s and television this month

DVD’S America’s most highlyregarded exponents of satire, and although at times it does feel a bit dated, this DVD does have some highlights. Flight of the Conchords Series 2 August 3rd, You give a musical comedy duo their first ever UK cover, and who gets all the critical acclaim, financial success, and worldwide fan base - the magazine

Monty Python 40th Anniversary Box Set Released September 14th If you don’t have all the Monty Python back catalogue already, why are you even reading this magazine? Whether you do or don’t have it, either way this is a release that cannot be missed. No doubt remastered and with loads of added extras, if for no other reason, buy it to help the Pythons pay their divorce lawyers and fund their drink and drug habits. Bill Maher-Live Released July 27th, 2009Hey, who likes their satire four years old? Haha, yes, John Kerry did have a long chin shaped like a canoe, and George Bush was stupid. Bill Maher is one of

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spearheaded by Flight Of The Conchords, Tim Minchin, et al. Another stalwart of the ‘Make Musical Comedy Acceptable’ campaign is the wonderful Boothby Graffoe, whose melodies are as wellcrafted as his jokes. Out Soon Morecambe and Wise, Series 6 (3 August) l Comedians, Series 5 (Bernard Manning, Frank Carson, Jim Bowen) (3 August) l Peep Show, Series 6/Peep Show, Series 1 – 6 boxset (7 September) l Spitting Image, Series 7 (17 August) l Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle (7 September) l Cowards (28 September) l

or the musical comedy duo? I’ll give you a clue - it’s the one with the DVD out on the 3 August. Boothby Graffoe And The Following People (Out Now) Music and comedy was for so long a partnership as well suited to each other as a Jew and a Nazi, until its recent renaissance

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On the box

TV

Channel 4’s Comedy Lab Channel 4’s TV comedy showcase that has both launched but mainly destroyed many a comedians/ production companies hopes and dreams returns with the usual mix of alright and bloody awful

You Have Been Watching (Tuesdays from 7 July) Current media darling Charlie Brooker’s latest project sees him hosting a sort of cynical celebrity version of Noel Edmond’s Telly Addicts, where Charlie and guests poke fun at TV.

(Alright) The increasingly poor decisions of Margarey Todd Like most things in popular culture if you want something done well get some Americans to do it. Written by David Cross and featuring some of the cast from arrested development Todd Margaret is a US excec sent to the BritaIn to take care of the UK arm of the company, no doubt with hilarious consequences Funny or Die Sketch Show Despite the Fix banging on about the death of the TV sketch show for the last year the funny or die team have ignored all our advice.

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With a good writing team and a killer cast on paper it might just prove us wrong – lets hope so.

Penelope Princess of Pets In this surreal gem Penelope (Kristen Schaal) and Her Orpahn friend ---- (Kurt Braunholer) have to save the world from evil MP --------- (Julian Barrat) using the help of the animal kingdom and a womanizing, alcoholic, drug-addicted bird called Ruby

mag he’s going to give the real thing a go. Jack Whitehall’s Secret Census Annoying child at a dinner party Jack Whitehall goes around the UK annoying the public and filming them a show that the fix can only imagine is akin to filming youself masturbating and uploading it on to youtube.

FILM Rumba Quirky slapstick comedy about Spanish dancing. A really original piece of comedy filmmaking.

(BLOODY AWFUL) Filth Danny Dyer used to be known for being ironically funny in this comedy set at a lads

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> FILM Sym-bollocks

Movie Moment of the Month

The Fix takes the time to decipher and explain the deeper inner meaning within your favourite films. This month: Predator (1987) Made in 1987 and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Predator is often dismissed as just a lads’ movie. However, unlike the majority of movies within the sci-fi/ action genre, Predator cleverly subverts our preconceived notions of what it is to be a man. The story couldn’t be simpler: seven testosteronefuelled commandos (representing the seven classical characters in Greek mythology) are abandoned in the deepest, darkest jungle (female pubes) and, after an initial barrage of ‘pussy’ jokes, brutality, and male bonding, are systematically picked off one-by-one by a vaginafaced alien from another world (man’s fear of the vagina personified). It is important to remember that throughout his career, Schwarzenegger has often tackled feminist subjects, whether it be sympathetically looking at the trials of pregnancy

We’d have to put out a thousand page, hardbound almanac to cover them all, so The Fix has decided to just cover one classic Stallone movie moment every issue.

(Junior), single motherdom and childcare (Kindergarten Cop), female identity (Terminator), or being a stripper (True Lies), Schwarzenegger has always taken care to represent woman’s plight within society. During the climax of the movie, Schwarzenegger beats the predator in a match to the death with a mixture of cunning, know-how, and brute strength. The predator, realising it has lost the battle, wins the war by setting off a self-destruct sequence, detonating itself and half the jungle, leaving Schwarzenegger powerless, frustrated, and broken. This is taking the concept of ‘getting the last word in’ to logical extremes. Predator dares us to consider the emerging presence of the female within the then (mid-80s US) largely male-dominated society, and should be considered alongside Working Girl as one of the most important tomes in feminist cinema.

Non-Special FX Budget FX with Hollywood-style production values Movie: Fight Club The Scene: When recreating the classic ‘bloody mouth’ make-up FX from one of Edward Norton’s many fight scenes in Fight Club, don’t waste pence on some of the more expensive fake bloods on the market –

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#2 – The Specialist (1994): Busted! Stallone plays ex-CIA explosives specialist Ray Quick, a bomb maker for hire who travels everywhere by bus. Whilst helping Sharon Stone get revenge against evil henchman Ned, Quick boards the No. 5. A gang of ponytailed hoodlums sit at the back listening to loud Rumba music on their boom box. An elderly, pregnant Latino lady makes her way down the aisle, but there are no seats. “Here, take mine” offers Quick, but before she can sit down the seat gets stolen by a thug. Shocked, Quick explains through gritted teeth,

“That seat’s taken”. “Fuck you”, the thug responds. “Excuse me?” “Fuck you”, he repeats. Handing his sunglasses to the old pregnant lady, Quick somersaults the ruffian onto the floor, kicking him in the groin and thorax. A second brute attacks. Quick elbows him twice in the throat, slamming his knee in his face. A third rascal attacks with a knife. Quick breaks his hand, slaps him five times, finishing with an uppercut. “I’ll kill you, you… you…sonofa…”, the first yobbo shouts. But Quick swings on the handrail, smashing him through the bus window and on to the hot, unforgiving tarmac of the street. The pregnant gran steps forward and hands Quick his sunglasses. “I believe there’s a vacancy”, Quick quips wryly, gesturing to the empty seat. Justice is done.

make your own. FX toolkit You will need: Teeth and gums A sink with working taps Water A toothbrush Method This works best if you have sensitive gums. Stand over your working sink with your toothbrush. Turn on the cold tap and

get a little water on the bristled end. Once moist, insert bristled end into your mouth and start brushing your teeth as normal. Apply pressure until gums start to bleed. Once there is enough blood coating your teeth, you are now ready to film your scene. If necessary, repeat between takes. Good luck…aaaaand Action!!!

August 2 0 0 9


> STOCKISTS

Where to get your Fix Pick up your copy tomorrow, you are probably busy today. The following retailers are proud stockists of The Fix comedy magazine, every one hand picked for their excellent merchedise or alcoholic beverages and clientele.

Hull

www.myspace.com/ redmutha

www.revampfancydress. co.uk

Beasley’s Casual Clothing 17 Hepworth’s Arcade Silver Street HU1 1JU beasleyscasualclothing. com

Resident 28 Kensington Gardens Brighton BN1 4AL (01273) 606312 www.resident-music.com

Three And Ten Bar 10 Steine Street Brighton BN2 1TE www.threeandten.co.uk

Pave Bar 16-20 Princes Avenue HU5 3QA www.pavebar.co.uk

Red Veg Deli 21 Gardner Street Brighton BN1 1UP www.redveg.com

Walters Bar 21 Scale Lane HU1 1LH www.waltersbar.co.uk

Borderline Records 41 Gardner Street Brighton BN3 1AR

Brighton

Canteen 52 Gardner Street Brighton BN1 1UN

Coffee @ 33 33 Trafalgar street Brighton BN1 4ED The White Rabbit 13-14 Kensington Gardens Brighton BN1 4AL Vintage Magazine Company 37 Kensington Gardens Brighton BN1 4AL (01273) 671 812 www.vinmag.com Oddballs 24 Kensington Gardens Brighton BN1 4AL Red Mutha 92 Trafalgar Street Brighton BN1 4ER

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Prime Brighton 2-3 Gardner Street Brighton BN1 1UP www.prime-brighton.co.uk Dave’s Comics 5 Sydney Street Brighton BN1 4EN www.davescomics.co.uk Dumb Waiter 28 Sydney street Brighton BN1 4EP The Off Beat Coffee Bar 37 Sydney street Brighton BN1 4EP Revamp Fancy dress 11 Sydney Street Brighton BN1 4EN

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The Brighton Tavern 99-100 Gloucester Road Brighton BN1 4AP The Prince Albert 48 Trafalgar Street Brighton BN1 4ED

London Camden The Lock Tavern 35 Chalk Farm Road NW1 www.lock-tavern.co.uk The Hawley Arms 2 Castlehaven Road NW1 8QU The Roundhouse Chalk Farm Road NW1 8EH www.roundhouse.org.uk Rokit 225 High Street www.rokit.co.uk The World’s End 174 Camden High Street London NW1 0NE

East Absolute Vintage 15 Hanbury Street Spitalfields E1 6QR www.absolutevintage. co.uk Beyond Retro 110-112 Cheshire Street E2 6EJ www.beyondretro.com Close-Up DVD 139 Brick Lane E1 6SB www.close-upvideos.com Junky Styling 12 Dray Walk The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane E1 6RF www.junkystyling.co.uk LCB Surf Store 121 Bethnal Green Road E2 7DG www.lcbsurfstore.co.uk Rich Mix 35-47 Bethnal Green Road E1 6LA www.richmix.org.uk Rinkoff Bakery 224 Jubilee Street E1 3BS www.rinkoffbakery.co.uk Rough Trade Dray Walk August 2 0 0 9


> FEATURE The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane E1 6QL www.roughtrade.com Rokit 101 Brick Lane E1 6SE www.rokit.co.uk The Big Chill Bar Dray Walk The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane E1 6QL www.bigchillnet The Vibe Bar Dray Walk The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane E1 6QL www.vibe-bar.co.uk Favela Chic 91-93 Great Eastern Street EC2A 3HZ www.favelachic.com Faro Café 305 Old Street EC1V 9LA Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen 2-4 Hoxton Square Shoreditch N1 6NU www.hoxtonsquarebar. com Zigfrid Von Underbelly 11 Hoxton Square Shoreditch N1 6NU www.zigfrid.com

West End Borders 122 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0JR www.borders.co.uk Foyles 113-119 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EB www.foyles.co.uk Soho Theatre 21 Dean Street W1D 3NE www.sohotheatre.com Sister Ray 94 Berwick Street W1F 0QF 100 Club 100 Oxford Street W1 www.the100club.co.uk The Angel 61 St. Giles Street WC2H 8LE Curzon Cinema 99 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 5DY www.curzoncinemas.com Fopp 1 Earlham Street WC2H 9LL www.foppreturns.com Maison Berteaux 28 Greek Street W1D 5DD www.shopatmaisonb.com The Coach and Horses 9 Greek Street W1V 5LL

Bloomsbury Theatre 15 Gordon Street WC1H 0AH www.thebloomsbury.com The Spice of Life 6 Moor Street Cambridge Circus W1D 5NA www.spiceoflifesoho. com

West The Castle 225 Portobello road W11 1LU Electric Cinemas 191 portobello road W11 2ED mail to: mandyk@the-electric. co.uk Duke of Wellington 179 Portobello road W11 2ED DukeofWellington@ youngs.co.uk Portobello Gold 95-97 Portobello road W11 2QB Sun in Splendour 7 Portobello road W11 3AA   Retroman and Retrowoman 34 Pembridge road W11 3HL www.mveshops.co.uk Prince Albert 11 Portobello road W11 3HQ Book and Comic Exchange 14 Portobello road

W11 3HT Gate Cinema 87 Notting Hill W11 3JZ   Children of vision 195 Portobello road W11 2GD   Minus Zero 2 Blenheim Crescent W11 1NN   Rough Trade 130 Talbot road W11 1JA www.roughtrade.com  First Floor 186 Portobello road W11 1LA The Market Bar 240a Portobello road W11 1LL www.massivepub.com S&M Café 268 Portobello road Ladbroke Grove W10 www.sandmcafe.co.uk Honest Jon’s Records 278 Portobello road W10 5TE   Uncles Café 305 Portobello road W10 5TD South The Prince 467-469 Brixton Road SW9 8HH The Dogstar 389 Coldharbour Lane SW9 8LQ www.antic-ltd.com/ dogstar

Want to stock The Fix? E-mail “mailto:thefixonline@gmail.com” August 2 0 0 9

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> CREDITS

Credits Editor

Name: Harry “Deepfried Mars Bar” Deansway Likes about Scotland: That it’s 600 miles away from London

Assistant Editor

Name: Tim “Local Hero” Milner Likes about Scotland: Gordon Strachan

Regular Contributors

Name: William “Beautiful” Andrews Likes about Scotland: Winter Name: Tom Brookes Likes about Scotland: Sir Sean Connery

Name: Daniel “Highland Fling” Cook Likes about Scotland: Bagpipe versions of classic rock songs. It shouldn’t work and it doesn’t Name: Chris “Pebble Man” Head What I like about Scotland: Its pebbles. Name: Nick McHelm Likes about Scotland: I LOVE EDINBURGH - I love the smell of warm Weetabix that wafts through the air Name: Nathan “3rd Degree (Rabbie) Burns” Penlington Likes about Scotland: Irn-bru, mince n’ tatties for tea Name: Simon “McSpreader” Trewin Likes about Scotland: l

The view from the Sir Walter Scott Monument Name: Andy“The Thistle Of Destruction”Zaltzman Likes about Scotland: The indefatigable refusal to take down Hadrian’s Wall. The fact that people still live there 2500 years after it first began to be suspected that the weather might be more clement elsewhere. Developing the perfect accent for convincing half-time team-talks.

Columnists and Guests

Name: Jane Bussmann Likes about Scotland: Random conversations with total strangers after the show. Name: Neil Hamburger Likes about Scotland: 93% of men and 87% of women aged 16-74 drink alcohol Name: Helen Keen

Name: David Quantick Likes about Scotland: Glasgow, where the drinks and the buses are orange, like the juice. Name: Richard Sandling Likes about Scotland: Denise Mina’s writing on ‘Hellblazer’ Name: Stevo McTillotson Likes about Scotland: Haggis and black pudding blood and guts for breakfast och aye!

Magazine designer www.ingridwilliams.co.uk

Design, photography, and illustration

Name: Rob Jackson Likes about Scotland: I like haggis. Mmmmm, minced lungs

Name: Olly “The Mac” Paterson (www. opillustration.co.uk) Likes about Scotland: James Doohan, Russ Abbot, and Mel Gibson Name: Darren “Sweaty Sock” Russell Likes about Scotland: That a smarter than average bear could invent the TV Name: Ingrid “Braveheart” WIlliams Magazine designer. (www.ingridwilliams. co.uk) Likes about Scotland: Scotch Eggs

Production

Name: Nick ‘Sassenach’ Chase Likes about Scotland: Rab C Nesbit. Just kidding - it’s actually football hooligans with knives Name: Sophie Johnson What I like about Scotland: Breaking my back in Edinburgh.

Website

Name: Dave Macleod What I like about Scotland: Heroin and shortbread. www.2tier.co.uk

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> CHURCHILLS AT BOGEY’S

IComedians’guilty shouldn’t laugh pleasures

A

t the Edinburgh festival, you can sell people anything. It just needs to be packaged properly. A quarter of a magazine page is best, folded diagonally in half, with the corners turned in and tucked under. Preferably a porno. During the mid-week, I could get rid of 15 to 20 wraps a night; on the weekend, the average was nearer 60. One memorable fringe Sunday, in the wonder year of ’96, I shifted a personal best of 207 grams. (My management company at the time thought I attended the Perrier Party because I’d been nominated; I actually made more money that one evening than they took off me for the whole sold-out run.) While to the public at large, I appeared - like my peers - to be losing large amounts of money to unscrupulous comedy promoters, I was actually making upwards of sixty grand a festival. A large portion of that money came from one comedy promoter in particular, who used to buy enormous amounts of what I had to sell. I estimate that during the 15 years I spent going to Edinburgh every August, I netted somewhere in the region of £900,000. Tax-free. My guilty pleasure in all this is this: never once throughout my entire career as the Fringe’s Favourite Dealer did I ever sell anything that was even remotely illegal.

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Baking powder, talcum powder, baby laxative, Vitamin B, lactose, glucose, Beecham’s Powder, white dogshit - you name it, they bought it. All cut with a pinch of boric acid to give it that little burn they’d come to expect from years of never having tried the genuine article. Of course, what you really want to know is: who was the comedy promoter who bought the large amounts of the crap I was selling?

Well, I’m afraid discretion forbids me from naming names. I’ll give you a clue: it’s the one who’s a bit of a wanker. Boothby Graffoe

‘Boothby Graffoe & The Following People’ is out now on DVD and CD, both available from Amazon. Visit www.realtalent.co.uk for further information.

l

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