Usually, each year at around this time, I lament the fact that good publicity stunts at the Edinburgh Fringe have been, in recent recent years, thin on the ground and I try to encourage people to pull their publicity finger out so we have some worthy nominees for the Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award - No need to apply. If you have to tell us your publicity stunt has happened it has, by definition, been a failure.
This year things are looking better, though, thanks to comedian Stuart Goldsmith.
I have blogged before about the publicity he gathered when the Fringe Programme went mad and started ludicrously censoring the title of shows like Richard Herring’s Talking Cock – The Second Coming and Stuart Goldsmith’s Prick while (quite rightly) leaving untouched Kunt & The Gang and Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory.
Stuart cleverly posted a video on YouTube to reap the benefits of the Fringe’s mindless stupidity.
This was not a stunt. It was intelligent marketing.
But now he has got a bit closer to a potential Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award nomination by posting on YouTube a cleverly thought-out stunt.
He says that, at the end of the Edinburgh Fringe, he is going to donate £1,000 of his own money to the Waverley Care HIV charity…
“…unless I see a single instance of the title of my show being used in a pun… If any puns at all based on the title of my show being Prick are used in any piece of comedy review or criticism, either in a magazine, in a paper or online then for every instance I will remove £100 from my charitable donation. So that’s my challenge to you, comedy critics. What’s most important to you? Looking a little bit clever? Or saving a life?”
I mentioned this yesterday to Kate Copstick, doyenne of Fringe comedy critics and a Malcolm Hardee Award judge and said I thought Stuart might be in line for a Cunning Stunt nomination because the stunt plugs his show’s title strongly and he will clearly never actually have to pay any money out (something that was close to Malcolm’s heart). It also publicises a worthy Scottish charity to non-Scots journalists.
“Absolutely. I have offered to put ALL of the puns he mentions into one review if he will give me the money for my Mama Biashara charity…”
Copstick is on to a winner whatever happens, as 100% of any money the Malcolm Hardee Awards make in audience donations go to Mama Biashara.
This year’s Awards are announced during a two-hour variety show as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival at The Counting House in Edinburgh on Friday 24th August. There are three Awards:
- The Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality
- The Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award for best stunt publicising a Fringe show
- The Malcolm Hardee ‘Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid’ Award
Stuart may or may not be on the shortlist for the Cunning Stunt Award. There is plenty of time for other even more cunning stunts to burst forth.