Tag Archives: kiss

Comic going to hell at Edinburgh Fringe offers hug for £5, tongue kiss for £20

Craig Shaynak. He’s amiable and now he’s Google

I woke up this morning to an e-mail from amiable American actor, comic, raconteur and fat, bald, loud American guy Craig Shaynak. (Look, gimme a break – it’s the name of his website – fatbaldloud … )

I can vouch for the fact that he is amiable because, several years ago I wrote a review of one of his Edinburgh Fringe shows which I thought was constructive. But, of course, being a sensitive performer on the receiving end, he took it as being critically critical…. Nonetheless, he is still friendly when we bump into each other in the street in Edinburgh every August.

I highly recommend his show this year I Am Google, which has picked up 5-stars. Either I was wrong all those years ago or he has got much better. Almost certainly both.

His e-mail this morning, though, was a general e-mail to Free Festival performers. At the risk of him suing my ass off for breach of copyright and my past failings, this is what it said:

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We’re past the halfway point now and things are crazy in Edinburgh as usual…

While the Festival has been fun, a few of our own have had some setbacks. There have been some missing props and performers left without a place to stay. (Someone get in touch with Lewis Schaffer if you know of a place to stay!!!!) 

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At this point, I can reveal exclusively that Lewis Schaffer has a couple of days respite from homelessness on the streets of Edinburgh.

Because comedian Janey Godley rushed back to Glasgow when her daughter collapsed in the street, my spare room became suddenly empty and Lewis is now staying there until Sunday, when Janey returns for her Monday night, one-performance-only play #timandfreya at the Pleasance.

But enough of this blatant though worthy plug.

Craig Shaynack’s e-mail continues…

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Recently, one of my personal favorite acts, Abigoliah Schamaun has endured a burglary. I thought it would be nice of us to pitch in and try to help her recuperate some of what she lost… Please read the message from Abigoliah below and see if you can’t pitch in and help. We’re all in this together!

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The burgled performer Abigoliah Schamaun

Hello all,

So after having one of those great nights at the Fringe where my show sold out and meeting my favorite comedian ever, I got home to my flat to find it was broken into. Someone had crawled through my window (which LOOKED locked but apparently DIDN’T lock) and stole £300, my MacBook Pro, my digital camera and my camcorder battery, but not my camcorder (weird right?)

The police were called, the room was dusted for finger prints and it was concluded that someone did come through the window. However, he or she was wearing gloves so we can’t identify them based on finger prints. The Fringe community and others have been really helpful, finding me new accommodation, offering couches for me to crash on and what not. The only people who were not helpful were the landlord and the letting agency. They are taking no responsibility for the un-lockable window and refuse to give me back part of my money.  But, like I said, the Fringe community has been really sweet. So thank you for that! On the upside, I have new jokes for my hour long show!!

Craig suggested we do a fundraiser online so I might be able to recuperate my losses.  I know we all have spent a lot of money to be here so if it’s out of your budget, I understand. Unfortunately, I did not have insurance and any amount you can give will go a long way. If you do donate to my cause, I’ve arranged prizes:

£2 a big bear hug

£5 a big bear hug and a kiss on the cheek

£10 a big bear hug and a kiss on the lips

£20 I will give tongue

£100 prize will be privately negotiated (I have no shame as well as no laptop)

Thanks, guys, for taking the time to read this and if you can help at all you can make a donation to my PayPal account.

See you around the Fringe!

Abigoliah Schamaun

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I have removed Abigoliah’s contact address in case she gets the wrong type of response, but will happily pass on the details of anyone who wants to genuinely get in touch.

Fringe Abigoliah: Going To Hell

I think her £20 and £100 prizes represent the true Spirit of the Fringe and almost count as a Cunning Stunt in Malcolm Hardee Award terms – a Cunning Stunt does not always have to be a conscious publicity stunt, as Stewart Lee proved in 2010.

But Abigoliah did, perhaps foolishly, fall at the first hurdle of publicity: she forget to plug her show in the e-mail.

Her show, perhaps appropriately enough, is titled Girl Going to Hell.

Now, £100? That’s almost the price of two cappuccinos in Edinburgh in August.

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Cabinet minister Chris Huhne and the convent-raised comedian

I mentioned in a recent blog that comedian Charmian Hughes was one of the first small intake of six girls at Westminster Boys’ School. The person who suggested she go there was her childhood chum Chris Huhne now (well, at the time of writing he still is) a Government Cabinet Minister. He is currently having a spot of bother over claims by his furious estranged-wife that he got her to accept penalty points for speeding when, in fact, it was (reportedly) he who was driving the car.

“I was driven in a car by him,” Charmian tells me. “He used to have a London taxi in his gap year before university. He must have been 18 and drove it to Turkey. But, alas, he didn’t take me to Turkey… Alas.”

He did give Charmian her first snog though and, back when Charmian first knew him, his preferred mode of transport was pedal-powered. She was about 10 when the two of them used to ride their bikes through a South Kensington mews. “It was such a genteel area,” she tells me. “The neighbours shouted at us because they found it a bit threatening and noisy.”

“His family were always extremely kind to me,” she says. “His mother – an actress – was the first person ever to take me to the theatre. It was The Mermaid Theatre. I think Marcel Marceau was miming something or other. Chris’ family were nice to me when I was persecuted by my own family. His mother said I was very artistic and special whereas my own family said I was twisted and strange because I wrote poems.

“When he was in the Sixth Form, he started a school paper called The Free Press for London-wide free distribution and didn’t have enough paid adverts for the first one, so the first edition was in danger of looking very bare and amateur. His friends were all making up ads he could stick in. I was about 14 or 15 and I wanted to impress him like mad and I remember we were sitting in a tube train on the Circle line when I suggested: How about an advert for Madame Hughes, Maison de Plaisir with my mother’s phone number? That would be good!

“I didn’t really think he would do it, but he did. I forgot all about it until one day the phone rang. I picked it up and a husky male voice said: Is that Madame Hughes? My blood ran cold, my stomach sank. I was terrified my mother would hear me talking to the man on the phone and I whispered: It’s all a ghastly mistake. A joke. I’m a school girl. The man was very understanding and rang off. My mother was and is a terrifying person with a terrible raging temper.

“The next phone call was from a tabloid newspaper reporter investigating ‘the schoolgirl brothel’. My mother answered. I heard her Medusa-like voice shrieking and threatening and the reporter scampered away never to ring again. When I told her what we’d done, she summoned Chris round.

Are you going to sue me? he asked in his most sophisticated timbre. Sue you? my mother sneered, A silly stupid little arrogant schoolboy like you? You must be joking, but I’m going to speak to your parents…”

Charmian’s first snog was with Chris Huhne when she was around 15 and he was around 17.

“I was at a convent boarding school,” Charmian tells me, “so it was hard to cop off.

“Later it was Chris who suggested I went to Westminster Boys’ School, but,” she adds dolefully, “by the time I’d got there, he’d left. Once he was at Oxford I hardly saw him. He was a very glamorous and sexy figure. We all adored him. He was brainy and cool and sophisticated. I think he only snogged me to put me out of my misery.”

Then she adds mysteriously:

“I also gave Frank Skinner his first avocado.”

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