Sometimes it is strange what people find offensive.
Last night, my eternally-un-named friend and I went to Vivienne and Martin Soan’s monthly variety and comedy club Pull The Other One in Nunhead, South East London.
Ending the night was Frank Sanazi, the wonderful act that sounds like Frank Sinatra but looks like Hitler.
Three people walked out.
The problem was his new sidekick ‘Anne Stank’ who talked about being lonely up in the attic and sang Björk’s Ssshhhhh….It’s Oh So Quiet.
“I don’t understand,” my eternally-un-named friend said afterwards, “why they didn’t find Frank Sanazi offensive but they did find the Anne Frank bit offensive.”
And, indeed, the three walk-outs did seem to have found Frank Sanazi’s re-versioning of Sinatra’s That’s Life as Third Reich entertaining and found the re-writing of the Strangers in the Night lyrics as Strangers On a Plane (as in the 9/11 hijacks) perfectly OK.
But Anne Frank they walked out on.
I had never seen the Anne Frank part of Frank Sanazi’s show before – his Das Vegas Night is returning to the Edinburgh Fringe this August (it got a 4-star review last year) – but ‘Anne’ told me after the show that I had blogged about her during last year’s Fringe.
“I was the one wearing a lettuce,” she told me.
“You didn’t recognise her with her clothes on,” Frank Sanazi added.
This is the reference from my blog last August:
I was walking down Niddry Street, and found comedian Bob Slayer standing in the street outside his Hive venue.
“I had to get naked in my show,” he told me. “I think it was the worst show I’ve ever done so I had to get naked. Jamie the sound guy sees my show every year and he told me: You failed on so many levels there, but it was definitely my favourite show. I had to get naked and there was a lady in the audience who turned up just wearing a lettuce.”
“Just a lettuce?” I asked.
“Just wearing a lettuce on her fanny,” said Bob.
“She had nice tits,” a female staff member added, tweaking one of Bob’s nipples. Passers-by ignored it. This is the Edinburgh Fringe.
“The lady with the lettuce was a friend of Frank Sanazi’s,” said Bob.
“That might go some way to explaining it,” I said.
The boundaries of offensiveness vary.
A girl wearing nothing but a lettuce leaf over her frontal bits was almost normal in Edinburgh last August. But a girl with her clothes on (never referred-to as Anne Frank) in South East London last night triggered three people walking out of an always-bizarre monthly comedy show.
Personally, I thought it was slightly eerie and very funny.
But, then, I like Chinese pickled ginger with scrambled egg on toast.