(This blog originally appeared in What’s On Stage)
The Malcolm Hardee Awards – being given annually by me until 2017 to honour the memory of the “godfather of alternative comedy” and famous Edinburgh Fringe prankster – were thrown into temporary and rather surprised confusion after a rebuff to our nomination of American stand-up Bo Burnham for the Malcolm Hardee ‘Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid’ Award.
Burnham’s London PR company – whose clients include a wealth management and an insurance broking, risk assessment and financial services company – wrote to me saying of Bo: “making money is not what he’s driven by at all and (we) don’t think he’d be at all comfortable with receiving this award.”
As a result, the five Malcolm Hardee judges have now additionally nominated Bo Burnham for the main Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality because “for a modern day stand-up comic not to be interested in money is entirely original”.
If you are a fan, Bo’s online store is currently selling his personalised teeshirts, CDs, posters, bumper stickers and koozies.
I’m not exactly clear what a koozie is – it appears to be some sort of Colonial cosy to keep beer cans warm. I don’t think Malcolm would have approved as he liked his beer cold. But he would have admired Bo’s disregard for money. So we have asked the PR if Bo would like to lend us £500 or £1,000, which we promise to pay back. We haven’t had a reply yet, but we live in hope.
The late, great Malcolm was famous or perhaps notorious for borrowing money from his friends and, when he drowned in the Thames on January 2005 left behind many debts.
Jo Brand refers to this in a 2-minute poem she read at Malcolm’s funeral which you can listen to here.
The three annual Malcolm Hardee Awards will be announced and presented around midnight this Friday 27th August during comic Nik Coppin‘s nightly Shaggers show, running as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Both Bo Burnham and our other ‘Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid’ nominee Greg Davies are in the running for the former-Perrier-now-Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award. The prize there is £10,000. It’s a start.
There’s a recent 8 min 41 sec interview with me about the Malcolm Hardee Awards here – on Edinburgh’s student radio station Fresh Air.