2012 Malcolm Hardee Awards shortlist announced at the Edinburgh Fringe

Did I mention the Malcolm Hardee Show?

At the Edinburgh Fringe, when he meets people he knows in the street, comedian Lewis Schaffer’s opening line has now become: “What have you heard?”

“That’s a sign,” I told him, “either of a deep neurosis or a guilty conscience.”

“Both,” he replied.

I saw two comedy wannabes in the street this morning. Someone who looked like (but was not) John Hegley and someone who looked like (but was not) Dr Brown. You know you have a certain profile when wannabe lookalikes appear in the streets during the Edinburgh Fringe and/or when you become (as John Hegley did) one of the multiple choice answers on a primetime TV gameshow. I once saw a miniature version of Russell Brand walk across the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh. It was not him. It was a miniature version of him.

I am looking forward to miniaturised clones of Lewis Schaffer roaming the comedy streets in the next few years.


At lunchtime today, we eventually decided the short list for this year’s Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards. People were hassling me (which is fine) to the end.

The sex tourist’s avenging postal courgette

I got an e-mail yesterday from Sex Tourist comedian Chris Dangerfield, which said:

This morning I received a parcel. How exciting. I opened it to find a courgette and an offer to pleasure myself with it.

There was a message enclosed (see picture) which said:



The note was signed


“It restores my faith in humanity,” Chris told me, “that people will make such efforts for someone who – although not exactly suffering a drought of such indulgences – will happily consider and most likely do as suggested.”

This morning, I got another e-mail from Chris:

I showed the letter and the courgette to Kate Copstick. Apparently courgettes are not good for the suggested purpose. ‘They snap’ she added, as one opts for the larger end and the smaller end can’t take it.

Chris Dangerfield got nominated for a Malcolm Hardee Award, but not for this.

In other Award-related news, the Awards’ designer John Ward sent me an e-mail:

It seems I have been ‘entered’ into the Life Long Passion Awards by an Italian woman who looked at me web site – The top prize is 22,000 Euros or, by the time the winner is announced at the end of the year, about £17 85p in our money…

 It appears that she works for this organisation and thinks I ‘fit the bill’ – which must be a small one, even with the Service Charge added..

The interesting thing is she works in Italy but used to work in England and can’t believe she missed me while she was over here.

Ha well.

I was so enjoying my obscurity as well.

Meanwhile Andy Dunlop, international president of the World Egg Throwing Federation, who is supervising our Russian Egg Roulette contest at the Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show on Friday e-mailed me:

I am arriving in Edinburgh tomorrow, fresh from my triumph at the Worthing International Air Tattoo where I and Joel Hicks (the World Gravy Wrestling Champion) took the trophy (and a cheque for £500) for winning the Kingfisher Class. Our plan to pass the 100m metre mark and turn left for France failed at around 15m.

I will be bringing capes, bandannas and medals.  Eggs will be prepared closer to the day.

Shortly afterwards – we were supposed to meet up at 12.30pm – I got a text message from courgette expert and one of the Malcolm Hardee Award judges, Kate Copstick, which read:

Aaaaaargh. I have just been asked to talk about rape on Radio 2. I will be with you at 1pm

Eventually, we got together and this press release emerged…


The shortlist has been announced for the increasingly-prestigious, non-sponsored Fringe comedy awards which represent the true anarchic spirit of the Edinburgh Fringe. Nominees (in alphabetical order) for the three awards are:



… for his writing, producing and co-directing work on the Casual Violence comedy sketch shows. He was nominated last year, but his comic mind is still almost inexplicably weird.


… a long-time mate of Malcolm Hardee’s whose work each year is always original but who this year, according to Malcolm Hardee Award judge Kate Copstick, “has taken his comic originality to an entirely new level” in his Fylm Makker and La Concepta shows.


… because they are “feckin hilarious” and because we think they may have wisely not performed enough dates to qualify for the rival Fosters Comedy Awards just so they were more likely to get nominated for the increasingly-prestigious Malcolm Hardee Awards

(for best publicity stunt promoting a Fringe show)


… for paying people £1 each to come to his stand-up show and 50p to watch his documentary. He says any money he gets from audiences at the end of his shows is being given to charity. “We think.” says Malcolm Hardee Awards organiser John Fleming, “that this says something post-modern about the economics of the present-day Fringe although, to save my life, I’m not quite sure what.”


… for getting his show Sex Tourist sponsored by a local escort agency. It is difficult enough to get sponsorship for Fringe shows, but (unlike most drink company sponsorship) this particular sponsorship is entirely relevant to the content of the show – and anyone with a flyer gets an alleged 10% off the escort agency’s prices.


… for turning this year’s ludicrous censorship of his and others’ listings in the Fringe Programme to his advantage and then posting a very effective YouTube video in which he said he would donate £1,000 of his own money to the Waverley Care HIV charity, but would deduct £100 from this every time a critic used a pun on the word ‘prick’ in their review.


The judges gave very serious consideration to nominating the concept of “having a heart attack” for the Cunning Stunt Award this year. American comedian Rick Shapiro was in hospital for three months, got out in late June and still came to the Fringe in August. Fellow American comic Andrew J.Lederer was (in his words) “buzz-sawed in two” for a heart operation but came to the Fringe less than three months later. Richard Tyrone Jones also had heart failure and Carey Marx got publicity by not coming to the Fringe because of his heart attack.

“This year,” says Malcolm Hardee judge Kate Copstick, “several very good comics have all come up with the same idea to win the increasingly-prestigious Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award – and that is to have a heart attack. I admire their dedication, but too many people got on the bandwagon. A couple of guys were also in car crashes. We at the increasingly-prestigious Malcolm Hardee Awards Committee are thrilled that people are going to such lengths to seek nominations but for Health & Safety reasons – and because we’re not insured – they should maybe think about stopping here.

“Andrew J Lederer not only had a heart attack but is doing six shows per day all this week – at least, that’s what he told me. And Bob Slayer has not yet had a heart attack but is risking liver failure with his extraordinary nightly intake of drink in a sordid attempt to get noticed by the Committee.

“He and comedian Jeff Leach were allegedly mutually masturbating each other on stage at Espionage in an attempt, I think, to get a nomination. But we at the Committee are choosy in our nominations here at the increasingly-prestigious Malcolm Hardee Awards.”

So ‘Having a Heart Attack’ has not been nominated.



… because he has potential in depth with TV series, book, DVD and live show potential. He is also a gambler which means he might either make a million quid or end up a million quid in debt, which is very much in keeping with the spirit of Malcolm Hardee’s life.


… because, perhaps not in keeping with the spirit of Malcolm Hardee, Trevor epitomises ‘class’ on stage. We think he is going to be snapped up and will be playing Carnegie Hall type venues soon.


… who are also nominated for the main Comic Originality Award. Like 2010 Award winner, Bo Burnham, their work on the internet may mean they break through massively to a worldwide audience. According to Malcolm Hardee Award organiser John Fleming, “We also want to suck up to the Youth audience who may not know of Malcolm.”


The winners of the Awards will be announced on Friday 24th August during a free-to-enter two-hour variety show at The Counting House in Edinburgh as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival. The show starts at 2300 and ends at 0100 on Saturday morning.

The two-hour variety show hosted by Miss Behave will include the Greatest Show on Legs performing their Naked Balloon Dance, a Russian Egg Roulette contest supervised by Andy Dunlop, international president of the World Egg Throwing Federation… plus Charlie Chuck, Richard Herring, Otto Kuhnle, Mat Ricardo, Arthur Smith, Paul Zenon and a host of other unlikely acts.

The Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show will be followed by one of comedian Arthur Smith’s infamous night-time tours of the Royal Mile. In the past, these have, alas, ended in nudity, anarchic behaviour and, on one occasion, the arrest of comedian Simon Munnery by police in the mistaken belief he was a German. Arthur Smith’s tour leaves from the Castle entrance at 0200 in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards are given in memory of “one of the most anarchic figures of his era” – “the greatest influence on British comedy over the last 25 years” and the “godfather to a generation of comic talent”… Malcolm Hardee.

The Awards began in 2005 (or 2007, depending on how you count) and will run until 2017 because that’s the number of trophies which were made. The Awards are not sponsored and no-one organising them or judging them takes any money to cover costs. Entry to the Awards Show is free. 100% of any monies donated by audience members on their way out of the Awards Show on Friday night will go direct to Scotsman comedy critic Kate Copstick’s Mama Biashara charity.

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