How did spaghetti-juggling get into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe programme?

The ever-energetic comic Bob Slayer is looking after The Hive venue at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe for the Laughing Horse Free Festival and, back in January, he asked me if I wanted to do any chat-type shows based on my blog.

I had already arranged to stage a two-hour Malcolm Hardee Awards Show on the final Friday of the Fringe.

So we arranged that I would precede this with four ‘talking head’ shows. Debates, but with comedians. I would chair the first two and doyenne of Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviewers Kate Copstick (a Malcolm Hardee Award judge) would chair the second two. The subjects seemed quite clear:

On Monday – “Comedians are psychopathic masochists with a death wish” – based on a blog I wrote which comedy industry website Chortle later used.

On Tuesday – “Racist or sexist jokes? It doesn’t matter if they’re funny!” – again based on a blog of mine which Chortle later printed.

On Wednesday –  “Have the Big Boys Fucked Up The Fringe?” about large promoters, producers and management agencies’ effect on the Fringe.

On Thursday – “Are Bono, Bob and the Big Boys Fucking Up The World?” about charity and aid money.

This was all OK until Copstick discovered, at the last moment, that she had to be in London for the final of ITV’s new reality TV series Show Me The Funny on the same days as her planned Fringe debates – and possibly rehearsing in London on the previous two days.

This happened a few days before the final Fringe Programme deadline, when the titles and billings had already been submitted.

I have always wanted to hear the introduction, “And now… a man juggling spaghetti…”

I would accept a woman. If you have a spare one, let me know.

But, if I could hear that introduction and then see someone do it, I could die happy and fulfilled.

Since the mid-1980s, when I was working on the LWT series Game For a Laugh, through series like The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross, I half-heartedly tried to find someone who could juggle cooked spaghetti for more than one minute. It appears it cannot be done. In the 1990s, I tried with the brilliant juggler Steve Rawlings, at which point, I gave up – If he can’t do it, no-one can do it, I thought – but it has always simmered away at the back of my mind.

So, on the basis that I could not think of anything better, I decided to hold the Malcolm Hardee Spaghetti-Juggling Contest – Year One (who knows if there will be a Year Two, but it sounds good) at the Laughing Horse Free Fringe venue which is exactly what it says in the name – Outside The Beehive – in Grassmarket for 45 minutes on the final Tuesday and Wednesday nights of the Edinburgh Fringe.

It should be messy and, if it rains, shambolically messy – a fitting tribute to Malcolm Hardee. But it might get a few pictures in the media and/or some word-of-mouth to plug the Malcolm Hardee Awards Show on the Friday night. And I suspect I can get quite a few comics to wander along and take part as well as members of the public.

The submission has gone in to Guinness to see if – in the unlikely event someone can actually keep cooked spaghetti in the air for more than a minute – they would actually recognise spaghetti-juggling as a world record.

Now all I have to do is find somewhere to get large amounts of cooked spaghetti on two nights in Edinburgh in late August…


Filed under Comedy, Theatre

3 responses to “How did spaghetti-juggling get into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe programme?

  1. Yhas – ‘chardee’ events with Bonio and his mates saving the world.. It seems odd that these folk rolling in loot, who could raise any funds seemingly neeeded by having a whip round among themselves, want the common peasants to get together and put their money in so that these morons get the credit plus the usual box of ‘honours’ like OBE’s, knighthoods etc. dished out as ‘reward’ which in today’s terms have all been devalued ( take this week – a ‘peer’ banged up for 12 months says it all and he’s just one we found out about and these people are supposed to be above repproach!!!..) and merit as much in real people’s minds as ABC Minors badges from the Saturday morning cinema shows of years gorn by.. I have given up on the likes of Banddaid, Red Hooter Day as it just means, I think, that Mercedes and BMW must rub their Hans and pin up a notice on the company notice board something along these lines: “Ve are going to verk overtime das veek untol further notace as mit chareedee zings are harpooning ober in das Enlund, zo das dark bits on das mippen, ver our glorious Afrikia Core failed to do das jobeen right, das despots vil soon be vonting our glorious prodacts! – zeig hail! – zzzZeig HAIL! – vor das glory of das Rich!!! – bat do remeber to label das crates ‘Baby Milken’ zo ve dio not upzet anyvun…”

    Laugh? – but how far out IS the truth?.. accountants can make anything seem like it should t then untrained eye, that’s why we elect Govenments on the same lines as we like to ‘believe’..
    I rest me case.

    • Jeaniegraham

      Spaghetti juggling – the mind boggles. Whatever next!! Jeanie

      • ..I never pursued it but a friend of mine was keen on trying to knit with fog, but gave up as we became a Smokeless Zone ‘back home’ all those years ago and he thought if he got stuck into a big pattern, and it cleared, he would be stuck with a cardie with perhaps just the one sleeve and a half finished pocket..

        And no, I never found out what he drunk either.

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