Advice on Edinburgh comedy shows?

Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe

What is the point of having a blog if you can’t use it for blatant self-publicity?

In this week’s Grouchy Club Podcastcomedy critic Kate Copstick and I talk about the end of the comedy section in Time Out. The end of my daily blog. The last live Grouchy Club meeting. Performer Nina Conti joining a porn film set. Will and/or Sarah Franken deciding to teach satire. My suggestion that Copstick should teach how to be aggressive in a Scottish accent. Free Fringe boss Peter Buckley Hill’s thoughts on an award. More chaos at the Edinburgh Fringe. The dead owners of Cowgatehead. Plus Lewis Schaffer, Juliette Burton, Bob Slayer, Mark Watson… and it all ends with an orgasm from Copstick. 

But there is also this brief section in the 32 minute podcast:


COPSTICK
Now I heard a rumour…

JOHN
Ooooo…

COPSTICK
…Mr Fleming… that you were thinking of offering your services as a director for people taking shows up to the Edinburgh Festival.

JOHN
Except, as we both know, a director doesn’t really do anything. So I thought the word ‘consultant’  might be vague enough.

COPSTICK
Oh. Consultant.

JOHN
For tax reasons, ‘Consultant’ is probably good as well.

COPSTICK
Consultant. Yes. With your how many years experience? Thousands of years of entertainment in London Weekend Television and elsewhere.

JOHN
Well, to be wholly truthful, it covers two centuries, doesn’t it?

COPSTICK
Yes. And, to be fair, it looks like it’s taken its toll.

JOHN
… on the industry.

COPSTICK
So somebody could actually…

JOHN
I did hear Time Out was closing its comedy section because it couldn’t actually compete with my increasingly prestigious blog.

COPSTICK
Maybe they will open it again, now your increasingly prestigious blog is closing. But you could take anyone’s…

JOHN
I can make them. I can break them.

COPSTICK
…embryonic Edinburgh show and turn it into something very close to Lewis Schaffer, could you? that successful? Is that what you’re offering? I can make you Lewis Schaffer!

JOHN
If I can make Lewis Schaffer successful, anything is possible.

COPSTICK
Exactly. think what you could do for a talented person!… No! I don’t mean that!

JOHN
Lewis Schaffer is still available at the Museum of Comedy until probably Monday. My influence is so great that I have actually made Lewis Schaffer a museum exhibit.

COPSTICK
Yes… But, seriously, you’d consult on people’s shows and…

JOHN
Well, the thing about me is that I’m not a performer, so you have to opt out of…

COPSTICK
Well, I think you’re doing pretty well here, I have to say.

JOHN
… but I am a keen observer of the scene…

COPSTICK
And a seasoned producer.

JOHN
A seasoned everything, yes – radio, TV, journalism, advertising. I’ve done them all. So I could give a… a… We haven’t thought this through as a marketing exercise, have we…

COPSTICK
No, we haven’t.

JOHN
I can give an objective view from years of experience of watching really awful acts. So, if anyone has a really awful act, I am very experienced in watching them.

COPSTICK
Yes, that’s fantastic. You’re not going to judge. I think that’s what you’re saying.

JOHN
I did, for a couple of years, do reviews for Chortle, the comedy website.

COPSTICK
Did you?

JOHN
I did. But I never liked it. You have to be honest if you’re reviewing and therefore you get hated by the comedians.

COPSTICK
I know the feeling.

JOHN
So my blog never actually criticised anyone, because I could pick and choose interesting people doing interesting things whom I admired and who were worthy of promotion and I could ignore any old trash. Although, admittedly, I have promoted Lewis Schaffer quite a lot.

COPSTICK
Indeed… Now, I want you to answer completely honestly here, John. Would the fact that you are consulting on a show give it a better chance of winning the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Awards?

JOHN
Ah. Now this is what’s worrying me. I haven’t actually thought this one through. One possibility is I say: If I consult for you, you can’t possibly win or be considered.

COPSTICK
But all the kind of shows, surely, that would benefit from your particular and extensive expertise are exactly Malcolm Hardee type shows.

JOHN
Exactly, yes.

COPSTICK
I think we’d have to say that the Malcolm Hardee Award is just going to be my decision next year. Lovely. Job done.

JOHN
The reality would be that, if I consulted on a show that was seriously considered for the Malcolm Hardee Award, I wouldn’t take part in the decision making.


The whole 32 minute podcast can he heard HERE.

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