Tag Archives: Egg Roulette

Alarm in the Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show at the Edinburgh Fringe

John Fleming bearded in his den (Photograph by Nick Awde)

John Fleming bearded with plastic bag (Photograph by Nick Awde)

Yesterday’s penultimate live Grouchy Club involved a discussion not about comedy but about the difficulties of scripting and shooting pornographic movies – one of the comedians present had enquired about entering the profession.

My afternoon was then taken up by getting the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award trophies engraved and boiling eggs for the annual Scottish National Russian Egg Roulette Championships which were to take place at the increasingly prestigious two-hour Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show that night.

At the show itself, the awards were announced as:

Comic Originality – Michael Brunström
Cunning Stunt – Matt Roper
Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid – Laurence Owen

Mr Twonkey at the point of triumph (Photograph by Blanche Cameron)

Mr Twonkey at the point of his egg triumph (Photograph by Blanche Cameron)

The Scottish National Russian Egg Roulette Championships appropriately included performer George Egg and ‘Mr Spunky’ – an anonymous member of Mensa, which allowed one member of the audience to yell out: “He’s an egg head.” Fortunately the puns ended there and the worthy, if somewhat surprised, new Scottish National Russian Egg Roulette Champion is Mr Twonkey.

Comedy critic and Malcolm Hardee Awards judge Kate Copstick presented most of last night’s show, as co-host Janey Godley had to go off and be Spanked. (It’s a show… It’s a show.)

Miss Behave, who turned up halfway through from another show had been going to co-host on her arrival, but somehow it turned into an act where she unexpectedly swallowed a giant pair of scissors and two flaming torches. As the torches produced a fair amount of upwards-drifting smoke, I was rather relieved no smoke alarm went off in the room, because I knew what was going to happen at the end of the show.

Chris Lynam with a banger-up-the-bum last night (Photograph by Garry Platt)

Chris Lynam with his banger last night (Photograph by Garry Platt)

This was Chris Lynam, former member of The Greatest Show on Legs, who performed his famous or possibly infamous banger-up-the-bum routine. This involves him putting a firework between his buttocks and having it lit (on this occasion by Malcolm Hardee’s sister Clare) to the strains of Ethel Merman singing There’s No Business Like Show Business.

As this is not an act which is easy to follow, it ended the show and, sure enough, just as it ended, the room’s smoke alarm did go off. It seemed a fitting end.

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Naked ballet dancers, pigeons and Egg Roulette shock at the Edinburgh Fringe

Candy Gigi

Candy Gigi: one of her more reflective moments

More pigeon news. On Thursday in this blog, I mentioned the tussle performer Adrienne Truscott had with pigeons inside her flat.

Yesterday, Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards judge Claire Smith of The Scotsman told me she had seen last year’s Malcolm Hardee Award winner Candy Gigi running out of a sandwich shop.

She ran out of the shop shouting: “There’s a pigeon in there!  A pigeon!  It’s a really nice sandwich shop!  Don’t let that put you off!  There are not normally pigeons in it!”

On the final Friday of the Edinburgh Fringe, the increasingly prestigious 2015 Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards will be presented during the annual 2-hour variety show at the Counting House, as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival.

I got another message from Claire Smith this morning:

Get the naked ballet dancers. They are called The Two Wrongies. They are in Miss Behave’s show. Completely naked except for swim caps and goggles. And they lift up their legs a LOT

As normal, part of the Awards show will be the annual National Scottish Russian Egg Roulette Championships. Or, as some might say, comedians smashing eggs onto their foreheads.

Alas, it looks like the President of the World Egg Throwing Federation will not be there to supervise it. I got this message from Andy Dunlop this morning:

Andy Dunlop weighs the alternatives

Andy weighing the alternatives in happier times

John, as I’m currently lying in the cardiac care unit of Lincoln Hospital sniffing nitroglycerin like there’s no tomorrow (indeed there might not be – so it goes), I am not permitted to promise I will make the trip up to Edinburgh for the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show. My deputy John Deptford is already briefed and is seeking a glamorous assistant for “his show”.

I was admitted to Lincoln Hospital last Tuesday and hope that the intended invasion via my groin into that important and but often mistreated and under-rated piece of muscle in my chest will sort out issues it has recently informed me about.

On a positive note, as per the last time I was unable to attend the show, I will donate my intended accommodation costs to Kate Copstick’s Mama Biashara charity…. as soon as I am able via a proper machine rather than this Kindle.

The Explorer 1 payload

Explorer 1 payload lost on way to International Space Station

On another issue, you sadly missed the World Egg Throwing Championships this year, but the English Graduated Gravitational Systems project to resupply the International Space Station had a successful test flight at Swaton when we launched our payload via the Eggsplorer 1 craft to 31,500 metres before it suffered a catastrophic failure to land 60 kilometres off Hull. It came ashore in Holland last week with egg payload still intact. The discovering Dutchman broke open the capsule to find that a raw egg does go bad after 6 weeks of floating in the North Sea.

Back on the bubble that is Planet Fringe, the mystery nameless girl mentioned in my blog yesterday, was grassed-up by performer James Hamilton and others as being Emma Levin. I confronted her on Facebook:

Emma Levin (left) revealed with Kate Copstick

Emma Levin (left) revealed with Kate Copstick

Have you any explanation for the secrecy (for quoting in tomorrow’s blog)? If not, I shall just make it up and ‘out’ you as part of an Oxbridge cabal.

She replied:

I guess, like a great many people who occasionally perform, I’m incredibly shy off-stage. It’s quite a boring explanation, but at least it’s logical. I know it’s an unconventional situation – someone asking *not* to have publicity during the Fringe –  but I think there are loads of  brilliant performers who actually want and deserve a mention in your excellent blog.

Which brings us to the weird shows I saw on the Fringe yesterday. they included:

James Hamilton is So Lonely
Emma Levin’s ever-weird grasser-upper in his first even weirder solo show after several years creating the weirdness of Casual Violence. I don’t think the time-travelling goggles will save him from the wrath of Emma Levin

The Church of Malcolm
This is billed as “a live rock gig sprinkled with a Kurt Vonnegut like worldview…Like a more positive take on the Rocky Horror Show.” It is the apparently true story of Malcolm Doherty who got leukaemia, saw an angel and is preaching the power of love and music by singing songs with his son on organ, a Brazilian on guitar and guest spots for a full-throttle stand-up routine by Ashley Storrie (children were temporarily removed from the room), a man singing an apparently anti-US capitalism song and a small lady of large proportions gyrating around quite a bit. I was confused. The audience were encouraged to wave their hands around a lot and shout out: “I agree!”

Mark Dean Quinn holds a flyer for his show

Mark Dean Quinn holds a flyer for his show

Mark Dean Quinn: Observation Without Comedy
Last year’s Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award nominee in an indescribably odd show with an unexpected monologue at the end. Apparently different audiences react totally differently each night. Last night there were a few embarrassed giggles intermingled with stunned and possibly confused reaction. The potential is there for tears, too. I liked it immensely.

Mark had flyered me in the street before the show. It was a tiny flyer.

“Drawing attention to yourself again?” I asked. “Any drawbacks.”

“Well,” he told me, “the main problem with tiny flyers is people lose them very easily. So, although it drums up loads and loads of interest, it doesn’t necessarily generate an audience. I suppose a tiny flyer generating a tiny audience is appropriate, but I will be making new, bigger flyers next week.”

Mr Twonkey brought along some stinking bishop cheese

Mr Twonkey brought along some Stinking Bishop cheese to the Grouchy Club…

Oh…

Yesterday was also the first in Kate Copstick and my daily live hour-long Grouchy Club shows at the Fringe.

23 people turned up: not bad for a minor Fringe show – one which did not appear in the Fringe Programme and had no flyers and no posters publicising its existence.

Possibly a lesson there.

Yesterday’s Grouchy Club included discussions of mass murder in Kenya, awful audiences/performers in Edinburgh, making porn films in Europe and an explanation of the term ‘stunt cock’.

And that is just in the brief 11-minute extract I posted online:

http://thegrouchyclub.podomatic.com/entry/2015-08-15T16_52_14-07_00

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More injured and bloody comedians cause chaos at the Edinburgh Fringe

Casual Violence - concentrated comedy

Casual Violence – injured minds, bloody strange, very funny

James Hamilton of comedy sketch group Casual Violence has been nominated for an increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Award in two consecutive years for his bizarre writing. This year, Casual Violence are performing not one but two shows at the Edinburgh Fringe.

When I first saw one of Casual Violence’s shows, I wrote of  James: “I think he might need psychiatric help. Though not creative help. There’s something very original in there – I just don’t know what the fuck it is”

My opinion has not changed.

Yesterday afternoon, I was heading to see the new Casual Violence show House of Nostril at the Pleasance Courtyard when a tall young man handed me a flyer for Alexander Bennett’s Afraid of the Dark with Jorik Mol.

For some reason, I asked: “Are you Jorik Mol?”

“Yes, John,” he replied.

“People keep telling me I should meet you,” I said.

“We met a couple of years ago,” Jorik said.

“I have a shit memory,” I told him, “Where have you been?”

“I was in Amsterdam for a year,” said Jorik.

“I’m not surprised,” I said, “You’re Dutch.”

Jorik Mol up against a wall at The Pleasance

Jorik Mol – very pleasant at The Pleasance yesterday

“I was convalescing from clinical depression,” continued Jorik, “I basically spent a year in a haulage container doing voices to myself.”

“Because?” I asked.

“Because what else is there to do in a haulage container? I also read Tolstoy’s War & Peace.”

“You mean the big metal containers they transport on ships?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

“You need money to afford a haulage container,” I suggested.

“You don’t,” said Jorik. “I was given one. I was a student at the University of Amsterdam and they give them out to people who either live very far away from Amsterdam or who are strange. The containers have all been turned into flats. There’s a window at the front and a window at the back.”

“When did you stop living in a container?” I asked.

“I’m still officially living in a container in Amsterdam,” Jorik told me. “But I’m moving to London next month, going back on the comedy circuit and starting to study a Masters in Comparative Literature at University College, London.”

Jeremy Bentham sits, stuffed, at UCL

Jeremy Bentham sits, stuffed, at UCL

“Is that where Jeremy Bentham sits stuffed?” I asked.

“Yes,” said Jorik.

“And you’ll be gigging on the side?” I asked. “Comedy is difficult.”

“No,” said Jorik. “People say comedy is easy but, when you’ve been through severe clinical depression and hospitalisation, maybe everything is easy.”

“Ah…” I said. “Stand-up comedians and mental hospitals…”

“Mental hospitals are great,” said Jorik. “I was punched in a mental hospital. People in the mental hospital really fucking hated me.”

“Because?” I asked.

“Because,” said Jorik, “I’m young, I can speak and I can read novels. There was a guy in the mental hospital who was like the alpha male – he was like a white van man. He thought I was threatening his position in the ward. There were seven completely inert people there, three of whom had regular ECT treatment. So there wasn’t a lot of pride to rule over as the Lion King he thought himself to be.

“One day I woke up late, because I was on a lot of medication, and I was about five minutes late for finger painting or whatever I was supposed to do and the guy just came up to me and just knocked me out.

“I am pretty proud that I am so viscerally annoying that I annoyed someone out of severe inert depression.”

“It sounds like good training for playing comedy to British audiences,” I said.

“Absolutely,” said Jorik.

It turned out he and I were both at the Pleasance to see Casual Violence’s House of Nostril, as was uber-mindreader Doug Segal (he, of course, already knew in advance that we were going to bump into each other).

It was a full house as, indeed was Casual Violence’s other show – Om Nom Nominous at the Voodoo Rooms. It is their ‘greatest hits’ show which I also saw yesterday and, inevitably, it was very weird, very funny, strangely dark, strangely melancholic and the full house pissed themselves laughing.

PekkaStrangeboneComedyShowpiece

Pekka & Strangebone’s accident-prone Fringe show

I also saw Pekka & Strangebone’s Comedy Showpiece at the Voodoo Rooms – another odd sketch show with a dash of darkness added to basic (this is a good thing) silliness. There were three cast members. One had twisted his ankle – the bone had popped out then popped back in again. He had had to go to A&E earlier in the day. Another of the trio had fallen onto a piece of broken glass in the Meadows and gouged a great bloody hole in his hand. He had had to go to A&E earlier in the day.

When I came out of their show, I told them they should try to get publicity on the basis of being the most accident-prone show in town – or the show with most accidents soonest. Then (this is true) I checked my iPhone for e-mails and there was one from this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent Anna Smith. It was headed:

PLEASE, NO MORE INJURED AND BLOODIED COMEDIANS…

I thought I started to hear the theme music from The Twilight Zone.

The Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards disasters

The increasingly medically challenged Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show

Then I opened another message. It told me that Miss Behave – who broke her heel in Dublin a few weeks ago and is compere of the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show on Friday 23rd August… is NOT.

The message read:

“Not possible for me to stay without cutting my foot off and clubbing myself to death with it.”

Miss Behave, rightly, is going back to London to recuperate rather than continuing to damage herself by leaping around Fringe shows in Edinburgh.

I asked Janey Godley – the comedienne who can handle any situation – if she could compere the Malcolm Hardee show instead. She said Yes. Yippee!

Then I opened another e-mail…

It was from Andy Dunlop, the President of the World Egg Throwing Federation. He will be supervising the Scottish national Russian Egg Roulette Championships at the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show on Friday 23rd August. Except that he will not be…

The e-mail said:

Andy Dunlop in happier days

President Andy Dunlop in happier days

I am meant to be in Australia right now but I am not…..

My wife is unwell and starts Iodine 131 radiotherapy on Friday. Currently she is exhausted, can’t sleep, faints a lot, is over heated and very very grumpy.

As from this Friday she will also be radioactive for some considerable time and in quarantine at home for at least 14 days. This prevents her from being left alone, cuddling cats or sleeping with husband. She is upset about item 2.

My suggestion that I bugger off to Edinburgh for a few days may lead to suffering from a beating and probably divorce although it would reduce my risk of cross contamination by gamma and beta emitters.

I am unable to predict her recovery and thus am unlikely to make it for the 23rd but John Deptford, our World Vice President, is available due to his Russian Visa not coming through.  He is better than I at compering. Can he crash at yours?

I said Yes.

But it is going to be a crowded night in my Edinburgh flat on Friday 23rd August.

There will be me, John Deptford, Martin Soan, Mr Methane.

Four men and one bed.

It could be a Richard Curtis comedy.

If Mr Methane farts, he may die.

Perhaps all of us will.

So it goes.

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