Monday, August 31, 2009

Edinburgh Day 29 - The End

So that's it. No more shows to do up in Edinburgh. I have just been to collect the very minimal props and few posters I had left from the Underbelly, and me and Layla watched as the pictures were torn down from the walls and the box office dismantled. There is something so horribly anti-climatic about it all. What was once a hub of activity suddenly becomes nothing more than really really damp grotty caves that would no way pass any health or safety regulations ever. Quite a lot of people still have shows today. The Pleasance Courtyard, Gilded Balloon and Assembly Rooms revel in the schadenfreude of watching the performers on their very last legs have to muster up enough strength to perform to 1/4 full rooms of audience who have managed to scrape a cheap ticket. Its just mean that it goes on one more day for these people. Its mean the festival goes on as long as it does. I had, like in previous years, big plans to end yesterday by drinking my own body weight in alcohol, but instead sitting in The Loft at about 11.45pm I just crashed. Layla said I looked very pale and like I might just fall asleep on the spot so she took me home. Instead of whiling away the night with all the others that had dealt with the month, I tucked up in bed, feeling full of a cold, and completely exhausted by everything. Party time FAIL.

I hadn't had a great last day to be fair. The day before was the Saturday of greatness and were you someone who believed in karma then it rose up on its high horse of equilibrium and dealt me a blow in the face of sheer 'meh'. My final show, my 24th performance of 28 Years Later, was a dud. I had planned it to be fun. I was going to run back on after the final bit, then give a big thanks to Paul Byrne for all his hard work helping direct my show and keep it fun, as well as teching it everyday and then I was going to tell the audience that as it was the last day they could take all the chairs, lighting fixtures etc with them if they wanted. Had I had lots of cash, I would've hired lots of people dressed as zombies to run out from backstage and eat the punters, but I didn't have loads of cash. Or even small amounts of cash. Just no cash. I'm poor. But even the smaller parts of the plan weren't to be. The half full audience were not the best. Four non-English speaking Spanish people in the front row, several starers who just wouldn't give me anything for any gags at all, and three New Zealanders who were lovely sitting right near the back. This last lot shouldn't have been a problem, except that about halfway through they started talking to each other quite a lot. Eventually I became arsey comedian and I confronted them on it, being slightly over-aggressive about it all. I shouldn't have been as they were talking because a small mouse was running around the floor by their feet. This then caused the woman in the group to squeal a bit and run out of the room. There was no getting this gig back. As well as those people, my friends Adam and Jimmy were in the room, as was Bruce Dessau. Of all the shows in the whole run they came to see, they saw my second most shite one. It didn't help that I wasn't on form. I was tired, run down and full of some sort of horrible cold. I finished the show, and decided I didn't want these people to thank Paul, he deserved better than that. I sniffled a lot and trudged off feeling all a bit sorry for myself. So sad that my last gig couldn't have been the sold out laughter fest of the previous day.

Luckily I had to race to Comedy 4 Kids which was a lot of fun and perked me up somewhat, although again, numbers were down from the 200 of the previous day and there were only about 40 in. I've enjoyed doing Comedy 4 Kids a lot this year and I spent most of my MCing talking to some kids from 'Bridgeofalan'?? If that's what its called? Either way I decided it was and created a scenario where they all took turns to guard the bridge that leads to Alan's house. There was much further japery, great sets from Bethany Black and Gordon Southern, and I even managed to remember to tell the kids they could take all the chairs, lighting fixtures etc and cigarette machine when they left. The day was then closed with the Darnan and Fouieb at the Cow Cafe gig. This was an idea that was had by Keith and myself as we had spent most days sitting in the Cow Cafe bantering for hours on end while others endured our odd rants about things. We thought it would be fitting to end the month with an official show where we did just that. We asked for 60 suggestions of things to talk about from Underbelly staff and performers and we were to talk about each one for 1 minute each (this was timed by Ben who was dressed as a penguin, hence Benguin) while we drank a lot of booze. The cafe filled up and me and Keith went for it. For an entirely improvised hour, some of it really worked and of course, some of it really didn't. The crowd didn't really run with it, but many said they really enjoyed, but they were just absolutely knackered too. Me and Keith enjoyed it a lot and feel there's scope for doing a slightly better planned version somewhere along the lines again. We went for a very nice dinner with Keith and his girlfriend Ginny before I crashed out and Layla had to take me home.

So much for Edinburgh going out with a bang. If it was a bang, it was one of those ones you don't really want to hear. Less the bang of a party cracker, and more that of when you plug something in that was slightly wet and the fuse explodes and all the lights go out and there is panic until you realise all you have to do it flick the circuit breaker back on. Today is for flat cleaning and doing a few bits and bobs. Going to watch The Hotel, even though several of its performers have now gone home, so I worry it will be like half the experience. Then will see if I can endure more shows, but I may just head back to bed and sleep some more. Its been a truly brilliant year, but I'm very pleased its done and I miss my cats. Roll on tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Edinburgh Day 28 - Day of Greatness

Its the last day of my show today. Not ever. Well maybe ever, but we just don't know. It feels like this day has been a long time coming, and yet now its here I feel a tad sad. It signals the end of Edinburgh and I have to admit its been a pretty amazing month this year. An amazing month that was trumped by yesterday's events. Today is going to struggle to be quite as good. Yesterday had level 10 strength, level 10 magic and level 10 bloody good things, so today had better be that card that somehow has an 11 somewhere or it's not going to compete. I like top trumps but it did annoy me how there was always one card that had inexplicably higher numbers than everyone else. I used to have a 'fantasy creatures' set, and the Devil managed to have 110 for everything, when the limit was 100. While I was pleased when I had that card in my stack, it did often make me wonder if the set had been made by satanists or some sort of other ill ilk of people. Essentially what they were saying is that evil will always win and when I sussed this out there were several days when I didn't play with those cards out of sheer distress. It was not the same with my Marvel Superhero Top Trumps. All of them were pretty much evenly matched in one area or another which should have made me happy, but instead just made me grow to wonder how much they cared about the Marvel Universe. I mean Galactus should be much more powerful than Spiderman, shouldn't he? Sorry, just re-read this back and I feel like it might have been the geekiest thing I've ever written. I would like to apologise to all non-geeks and at the same time reassure the pro-geeks that by my laptop lies a Spiderman annual I haven't read yet that was given to me by Belle, the head of our flyering team (I say give but its actually loaned. However I havent read it yet and its not leaving my possesion till I do).

Yesterday was mostly the bestest day ever because I got to meet Lester Freamon aka Clarke Peters aka bloody that bloody man from The Wire which is the greatest show ever! Layla, myself, my parents and Keith of the Farnan, all went to watch his Q&A at the Udderbelly, which was brilliantly hosted by Miles Jupp. Q&A sessions always have the potential to be very dull. Essentially if the answers are brief or vague it can become dull. Similarly, if idiots ask the questions it can be terrible. Luckily Clarke was very interesting, giving us tales of his last time at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994 doing a Nat King Cole tribute (we were treated to a little song), some amazing insights into The Wire from onset, characters, fellow actors and how its now being used in education and rehab centers around the US and UK. While I would normally begrudge getting up at such an early hour at the festival, it was such a brilliant way to start the day. Then to make things even more brilliant, Ed at the Underbelly introduced Clarke to me, Keith and Layla. I was worried I might just fall over backwards but as Ed had been lovely enough to introduce me and Keith as performers we felt like it was ok to just have a bit of a chat. He was stupidly friendly and chatty and after Keith went off on one about how at the talk the next day he'd get the whole audience to hide so that Clarke would get paranoid he shouldn't have done an extra date, we left him be and skipped merrily down the road like excited kids.

From then on, the day could not really go wrong. The skipping lead us to Chocolate Soup where Reese Shearsmith sat very near us, but after already meeting Lester Freamon I could not handle the prospect of trying to say hello. That and my hot chocolate made me feel all a bit stoned, so found it hard to do anything. I am beginning to wonder what they put in it. I always leave feeling floaty and disorientated, yet I love it. I'm pretty sure there's a magic ingredient somewhere, and I don't mean Harry Potter put a spell on it if you know what I mean? More Harry Pot. Ok I'll stop now, for even I know thats lame. After chocolate was gig and as several members of Layla's family were in the audience, as well as several of my friends, I was a tad worried I would cock it all up on the penultimate day. Instead it was a sell-out, completely kick arse gig. Just about every single gag worked and the crowd were amazing. I had had the insight to record it on my dictaphone and so hopefully that will sound like one mean mp3. Should I never do the show again, I'll pop it up on my website. If I do though, I won't. It as easy as, er, easy things.

The rest of the day was brilliant in equal measures, with a great Comedy Club 4 Kids that I just got to sit back and watch as James Campbell MC'd, Al Barrie closed and Rich Hall opened by scary a kid called Frasier before doing an impro based on chocolate bar names before telling all the kids they could eat said chocolates that he had thrown on the stage. We were then treated to 5 minutes of chaos as children swarmed round Rich like killer ants on a corpse. Terrifying. After CC4K, we trekked en masse (Layla's family, me and my parents) to the Penny Dreadfuls show, which I'm so glad I got to see this year. Its just superb. Despite dropping the Victorian era mantle, they have retained all their slickly acted silliness and I ended up having several coughing fits from laughing so hard. I'm sure it'll tour after Edinburgh so do go and see if you can.

Today I have three shows - my last one, the final Comedy Club 4 Kids and a special show at the Cow Cafe with Keith Farnan. I can't wait to finish the first two but the last one should be the most fun, and will be followed by vast amounts of drinking to send of Edinburgh 2009 for myself. I just hope Clarke Peters turns up to hang out otherwise it will still just be a 10 to yesterday's 11.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Edinburgh Day 27

Today is really stupidly exciting and honestly very little else matters. My week has already been filled with encounters with people I'm not sure how to speak to or cope in the presence of, but today it excels to a new level. Yes I was unable to approach Reese Shearsmith or Eddie Izzard due to sheer awe and nerves, but shortly I will be attending a Q&A at the Udderbelly with Clarke Peters, aka Lester Freamon from The Wire. Then afterwards, courtesy of Ed from the Underbelly, I should be able to meet him and Dominic West aka McNulty. Oh dear God. I'm not sure what to say or do if I do get to meet them. I'm scared I will just start blabbering about a 're-up on the package' or just quiver like someone having a fit before keeling over backwards or worst, accidentally call one of them 'Dad' or say 'I love you' or something. The latter would be really bad as my Dad will be there as will Layla, and both may get upset by this. The Wire is possibly the bestest bestest TV show ever ever and to meet two of the main people from it will be slightly too much. Expect tomorrow's blog to be filled with embarrassing tales of me vomiting on my own shoes or things to similar effect. Generally I'm great at meeting famous type peoples. I can usually keep my cool and act all polite and friendly. But every now and then, I meet someone I truly respect and completely mess it up. I met Kevin Spacey when he was doing his run of The Icemen Cometh at the Old Vic. Me and my friends Mat and Wilz all waited backstage to meet him like utter geeks. He appeared, said hello and offered to sign our programmes, but before he could I blurted out the words 'you are, like, one of my idols' like some 16 year old American teen girl. As the words left my mouth I felt like such a dick. For a start he wasn't really an idol of mine. I thought his acting was amazing and loved several films he'd done, as well as thinking the play we'd just seen had been amazing. Secondly, any shred of dignity I had hoped to keep after such a lame comment, was completely destroyed by Wilz letting a large snorty 'Ha!' at my patheticness. Luckily Kevin Spacey ignored my stupid words and was very lovely, signed everything before getting into his chauffeur driven porsche and driving away. Since then I have either excelled at just being able to handle people's celebrity level or when I know its someone I might just spazz out in front of, run away. Case in point was the after party of The Good, The Bad and The Queen gig where I just stayed on the other side of the room from Damon Albarn and Dennis Hopper. Or the other day with Reese Shearsmith and Eddie Izzard. But tomorrow, Ed said he would introduce me to Dominic and Clarke so its highly likely I'll really mess things up.

Some other things:

- Only two shows to go! Hooray! Going to try and remember to record the last two so I can put them on my website as an mp3 just incase I never do it again.

- Nat has swine flu. This is not good although I like to believe my immune system is pretty hardcore so I am going to do nothing to prevent getting it. Yes, that is a challenge to you bacteria. Yes, it is highly likely I will get it and vomit on McNulty and Lester. To be fair we are not 100% sure it is swine flu as it was diagnosed by a doctor over the phone. He said that Nat shouldn't come in to the surgery for fear of infecting people. I think he is just lazy and says that to everyone. Nat however, does feel quite ill.

- Despite it being Eri's birthday, everyone was so knackered last night that we just stayed in, ate the birthday cakes (yes, cakes plural cos we are pigs. Especially Nat as she has swine flu) and watched Cloverfield. I had seen it before with Layla and I remembered why I got annoyed with it the first time round. There is no need to show the monster. No need whatsoever. I prefer my imagination to your shit CGI Mr Abrahms so let me come up with something better in my warped head then your tripod like loser beast. I like the film up until that point. I wish more films would realise that people's heads are more disturbed than anything you can do on a computer. I do however like that they never explain the creature's existence. Well done for that JJ. Layla fell asleep when we saw it in the cinema. She also fell asleep when watching it last night. I think this is a sign of the films quality. Also it annoys me that nowhere in the film does it focus on the field where they make the butter. Arf.

- A little girl called Imogen in the front row of Comedy 4 Kids today, tied her own leg to her chair. That was brilliantly weird.

- If you are Underbelly staff, or around the Underbelly on Sunday from 8pm, me and Keith Farnan are doing a special show where we just sit in the Cow Cafe and get drunk while talking about things. We have asked all staff to give us 60 subjects to talk about for 1 minute at a time. It will be messy. Messy but fun.

- Tonight I am seeing the Penny Dreadfuls. While I am really looking forward to this, I can't help but feel everything will be dwarfed by my Wire experience. Including my show. I have a feeling my show will be 55 minutes of me gibbering about The Wire. Sorry for all those who attend. And sorry to the Pennies too.

- I like that more people have commented on my blog during these Edinburgh ones, than have before. Thanks for this. Clearly me complaining about how long it all goes on for, is enough to make you want to mention things. Please continue. In regards to previous comments:

Keeno - yes that is a sack of cack. Well pointed out. Random acts of kindness make the world go round. Gravitational pull is a big fat lie.

Isihac - lets go! Marmite apathetics lets all run amok, or just be apathetic about it all. The latter is more likely.

Ben Hewis - Sir Bedalot is good. However I think it sounds like a very whorish knight.

Those are comments from the blogger page. Facebook ones can have actual replies as I can hunt you down, find your profile and make judgements on you based on that pic of you your mate took when you were well pissed and you've thought that by putting it up no one will base all opinions of you on it. Wrong. I will.

I'm going to meet McNulty and Lester!!!!!!!!!!! Yes that amount of exclamation marks is necessary. Here are some more. Deal with my excitement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Edinburgh Day 26

Thank God its Friday. Although if there is any kind of super deity then they also created Monday's too and that means we should be giving away any unnecessary thanks so soon. I however am very pleased its Friday. This means it is one step further to the eventual end of things. I don't mean this blog to become repetitive and dull but generally the only consistent thought in my brain at the moment is that I'd like to go home now please. I will stop typing this now until Monday when, despite everyone hating Mondays, I shall be dancing around like an excited chimp knowing that I'm all finished at the fest. I'm feeling relatively healthy today, despite further drinking shenanigans last night. Me and Layla both attended the So You Think You're Funny party but were sensible enough not to keep drinking the free 'mojitos' - someone threw sugar and mint in some lemon squash and turps - that made me very sick last year and only stay around till about 2am or rather ie when the free booze ran out. The party is held to celebrate the winner of So You Think You're Funny, a competition that despite its horribly sardonic title can propel a new act from unknown status to rather high up the comedy ranks. Sadly, while the party should be held in that winner's honor for achieving competition success, everyone tends to turn up to the party without a clue of who just performed or won anything and instead plays the game of 'who can drink all the free booze before it disappears'. Unlike the Mick Perrin party the night before, the SYTYF party has a slightly less strict guest list and so whilst its very nice that some people can get in, who normally wouldn't (ie all my flyering team), it also means the place is filled with people (ie everyone else's flyering teams) who probably shouldn't be there and steal all the free booze before getting giddy that they are standing next to someone who was once on channel 5. As I said there were some lovely people there but ultimately I was tired, still a bit hungover from Wednesday and most importantly, hadn't seen Layla for days so we eat crepes and went home.

There is a problem with the crepe stand this year and it is this: Edinburgh council have enforced licensing laws on said stand so that they can't serve crepes as late into the night as they used to. This is a bloody travesty. The crepe stand is a staple part of the Edinburgh fringe and in the past there have been so many 5am much needed crepe experiences. Yes there was also the time Tim Minchin stole my crepe and yes it still scars me, that musical crepe stealing monster. But this year instead, when I have been out till 5am, there is no crepe goodness to get me home. I'm sure its losing them loads of business too and I can't work out why the council would deny further crepery? Are late night crepes much noiser than other foodstuffs? Perhaps after a certain point at night if you put water on a crepe it becomes and evil crepelin? I really don't know but I plan to write a letter.


There is was. I hope that works.

Lots of Layla's family are down today and them and Layla have booked a big schedule of things to see. I'm not seeing most of them so will just convene with them in time for important things like eating, and eating. Its also Eri's birthday today. Not sure what the plans are for that. I feel that her having a birthday here is a bit like when they have a birthday on a reality TV show. She's probably missing all her friends back home, but as she's trapped here, with no clue about what's happening in the outside world, then we will have to make her birthday really bloody good. I am going to get some sort of cakery methinks. Not for Eri, I just like cake. Mmmm cake.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Edinburgh Day 25

Layla arrives in about 4 hours, my show is in two and half hours, and so that gives me just about enough time to run around disinfecting our flat from its rancidness before she arrives. Its got pretty grim in certain areas. Well one area in particular, the bathroom. I'm not an untidy person, but when you are out and about all day, doing shows and drinking too much, well, it becomes hard to find time to clean things up. Sure you can put the odd thing in a bin, but then at some point you have to take that bin out, and thats the bit we all forget when rushing around. I think for the extortionate prices of all the flats during festival month, we should be provided with a cleaner, or robot maid or something. Just a little creature that wonders round with a flannel. As it is, I have to be that little creature today and so certain things must be dealt with before they become a new life form and terrorise Edinburgh. I've probably blogged this before, but it still annoys me that bathroom's need to be cleaned. They are for cleaning, so shouldn't you be able to just put the shower on and aim it at everything for 2 mins till it all washes away? Maybe we need that in all the rooms of the flat, like a large sprinkler system that sprays flash. Probably dangerous but I'm willing to let a housemate go blind if all I have to do is flick a switch and the place is sparkling. As it is these things don't yet exist so today will be another cheating bullet point list of things so I can go and do my Barry Scott impression around the place:

- I went to see Eric's Tales of The Sea yesterday. I had heard loads about it but hadn't been earlier in the run because it finished very close to my show and I was too paranoid I wouldn't make it back to the Underbelly in time. I finally took the risk and I'm so very very pleased I did. It was just brilliant. Lots of lovely tales, some sad, some very funny and more information about submarines than I ever knew before. I tried to persuade Eric to tour it, so hopefully he will. I would go and watch it in the next few days just in case he doesn't. It now ranks with one of the best things I've seen all fest.

- My show was lots of fun yesterday. Back to normal sized crowds and there were loads of people I knew in, which was nice. The people I knew included my parents, who said they really enjoyed it. I slightly changed one line about my Dad, which I think was for the best. I've only got 4 more shows to do now and I really hope they are all fun. Not quite sure if I'll do the show again after or back in London. I was thinking about it, but it depended on how this year went, and so far, I'm not entirely sure how its gone. There are a lot of jokes in it and it'd be a shame to waste them. I mean I won't waste all of them as they can be put into my sets, but some would vanish if the show did. Although right now, I've said it all so many times, I wouldn't be immediately sad if thats the case.

- Went for a curry with Tom yesterday. I like curry. I had a salty lassi to start with. I will never stop finding it funny that it sounds like a type of dog.

- Comedy 4 Kids got 5 Stars in the Telegraph!

- In yesterday's CC4K show, Reese Shearsmith was in the audience. This petrified me slightly as I'm a mahoosive League of Gentlemen fan and loved Psychoville too. He was friends with Preston (the kid who was performing)'s dad, so he had come along. Susan Calman was meant to be MCing but didn't feel well and could see I was excited about Reese Shearsmith being there, so she let me MC. Susan Calman is ridiculously lovely. Sadly the show was not great. The crowd were very very quiet and it was tough to get anything out of them. All the acts did well, with much kudos to Isy Suttie who was brilliant. Mostly I can quite easily meet and chat to famous people, but every now and then I do get a little awe struck and Reese Shearsmith made me all a bit rubbish so I didn't go and say hello.

- It then happened again later at the Just 4 Laughs party. Eddie Izzard was there. I just stood from a distance and pointed a bit. I am such a loser.

- The party was brilliant. General conversation was about how the festival should be just 6 days shorter and we'd all be happier. Some people also said nice things about my show, which made me happy. The bar was also free which made me even more happy. As Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson said 'The Best Things In Life Are Free', which is why that single cost money to make and buy - because it was shit.

Off to make things sparkly. Wow that sounded camp.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edinburgh Day 24

The end is nigh and its bloody lovely. Don't get me wrong, this year's festival, has, thus far, been awesome. But as Rich Sandling was saying to me the other night, if we weren't enjoying it we would be such horribly broken people. I am so very tired, my throat and chest hate me and all I crave for is my bed back home and a few days of sleeping with no thought of gigging. Its weird how the creature comforts become so important when you slog your arse off for a whole month without stopping. There are lots of little things I miss. Like our sofa. Ok admittedly, its not little. In fact its fairly big and were you to use that as the judge of small sized things, then I would be microscopic. Quite miss my cats too, although Layla told me yesterday that they both have fleas so I'm happy to wait until those have gone before I see them again. Generally everyone that I speak to up here is really enjoying the fringe - good audience numbers, fun shows etc - and yet they all have just had enough and need to finish now.

I don't have many extra gigs this week and the few that I have got, I've cancelled in an attempt to save my throat, which yesterday was at its worst. Oddly, I then stayed out for a while last night, only drinking whisky, and today its a damn sight better. This must be why drunken old tramps are able to shout at pigeons so well and with such projection. Although I doubt they drink single malt. I cant understand why whisky has worked. I can only assume my vocal chords are pissed and can't feel any pain. Once they sober up I'm going to have a weird voice hangover where certain words are a bit wobbly and sound sad. I'm not sure all of it's whisky. A big part was probably that the only show I did yesterday was mine and I spent the rest of the day watching other people's shows. Here's a quick lowdown on some things what I did see:

Lunch with my Dad - ***** Its not a show, but I started the day having lunch with my dad. It was pretty damn good and we went to the City Restaurant to eat good stodgy grub. Good performances all round, with my dad tucking into egg and chips with the true look and determination of a hungry man, while I annihilated a veggie breakfast with the stoic drive of a dude that needs a breakfast. Original, witty, definitely a pick of the fringe. Anyone else that would like lunch with my dad, please let me know and I'll give you details.

(Please note, none of the shows will get star ratings, as I think it's massively unfair. I doubt that when the universe was created , those large balls of gas intended to be at the heart of poor journalism and vitriolic attitudes. Although maybe they did and thats the missing link scientists have been looking for. God is a critic. But he doesn't exist. Therefore neither should critics. Maybe.)

Show 1: Five Characters In Search Of Susan - This is the show that's on before me and everday I've walked into our room, noted the mess of bears, pill containers and other random things and been completely intrigued. Sue is an excellent actor (or is it still actress?) and the show is a really dark character piece that I really enjoyed. One character in particular, Lynn Scruples, a reviewer, is just genius. Very pleased I now know what all the mess is for too.

Show 2: Helen Arney - 8 1/2 Shows about Love and Other Myths - Go see this now. That's all I will say. Possibly one of the very best things I've seen all fringe. Its just so bloody lovely. I will leave the rest to you to go and indulge in its lovliness.

Show 3: Elis James - The Most Cautious Little Boy In Wales - I took my parents to see this as I knew they'd like Elis. They did, as did the crowd and it was an awesome show. Lots of great stories, told with charm and very funny gags, including a particularly good tale about a suicidal swan. Elis said it was the worst show he'd done, but he is full of shit. FACT. It was good. Go see.

Show 4: Beardyman - A one off show, that wasn't a one off, cos he'd done it the night before. This show was what I needed to see at the fringe, as, while funny a lot of the time, the main emphasis was not on the comedy but the music. I did feel like Beardyman was mocking me as my throat was so sore I could barely talk and he could make vast amounts of other amazing noises. I was somewhat jealous and partly tempted to run on stage, cough on his mic and run away again to ruin his week. I didn't though, because he's a nice bloke and I would've got booed by the whole full Udderbelly.

Just as I'm finishing writing this, the nominations have been announced. Best of luck to Pete Johansson and Carl Donnelly for Best Newcomer and to all the other nominees. Right off to get that show count down to 4.....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Edinburgh Day 23

There are lovely small moments or events in Edinburgh that make the festival special and different every year. Last night two of these moments occurred one after the other. The first was while sitting in the bar at the GRV. I had been to buy a drink and had feebly asked for a cup of tea as my throat has reached truly bad levels. Imagine if Tom Waits and Macy Grey had a kid and forced them to gargle glass. Its kind of sore, dry and tickly all at once. Its annoying how a tickly throat is not remotely a pleasurable experience. I have not laughed once at the sensation. Had Mr Tickle spent the whole Mr Men books walking round tickling throats, most of the Mr Men would've just been very irritated. Although I'm surprised they weren't irritated by Mr Tickle anyway. Of all the Mr Men, he sounds the most like a sexual offender. The sore throat has no also been accompanied by a snotty nose and lots of sneezes where more projectile escapes than is anticipated. They feel like a small spray of sneeze might escape but I have too often been awkwardly caught out with large amounts of nasal bungee which I then have to try and dispose of before everyone thinks I am the king of disgusting. Anyway, I had been denied the tea as the girl said they were sorry but couldn't make one, and instead I got a diet coke, made some comment about how I wanted beer but my throat said no, and sat back down, sniffling and coughing like a plague victim. After about 5 minutes the girl popped up at our table with a big cup of ginger tea. She said 'that's got ginger in it and should help' and then just walked off again. That was quite possibly one of the loveliest things ever and I said thanks so many times it was probably embarrassing. She single handedly restored my faith in society and the tea stopped me coughing for about 30 minutes which was nice.

The second was the event I was going to see which was a screening of 'Mr Jollie Lives Next Door', a Comic Strip Presents film. Michael Legge had organised the screening as it was one of his favourite films and he had managed to arrange for Nicholas Parsons to do a Q&A about his role in the film. I knew very little about it all and had spent most of the hour or so prior to the film hearing James Hingley, Rich Sandling and many others constantly repeat slogans and catchphrases from it and giggle a lot. Normally this is the sort of activity that is prone to put me off watching anything. I had a small fear that Sandling would sit next to me throughout, pointing out when the best bits were about to happen and mouthing along with the words. When a film is built up that much, it tends to be shit. I have had several films ruined for me, due to large anticipation of what will occur. Admittedly, it hasn't helped that most of the films have been bad to begin with, such as Phantom Menace or Indy 4 (it still hurts Lucas, it still hurts), but also films such as Silence of the Lambs, which I saw far after my contemporaries. By the time I watched it I had heard the fava beans line repeated in a poor Hopkins accent so many times that it became farcical during the actual film. So I was worried that I was going to spend an hour watching a film other people thought was a lot better than I did. I shouldn't have been worried. It was brilliant. Completely anarchic, insane and hilarious. I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it before and there were quite a lot of laugh out loud moments. On top the excellence of the film, it was so nice to sit and watch a movie. You forget how great it is to not be in a bar drinking or watching other people's shows with a cynical eye and to instead, relax and enjoy something. Not everyone that had bought a ticket enjoyed it. I heard some people walk out saying 'what the hell was that?', although I think they had bought a ticket to 'The Secret Gig' without knowing it would be the screening of Mr Jollie. I'm really pleased I went and thanks to for sorting it all out.

Prior to that was a lovely Comedy 4 Kids where myself, Elis James and Paul F Taylor were all shown up by 11 year old Preston who stormed the gig. He was truly brilliant and will either be very big in a few years or completely bonkers. He's doing Wednesday too, when he says he will be doing a dance, and I can't recommend it enough. Following that there was grub with parents which was very nice and then I went to see Jimmy McGhie's show which was very good too and if he hasn't sold out all week then I would highly recommend it.

Off to meet my Dad for lunch then I only have to do my show today, so the rest of the day will be spent watching lots of other shows then another early night till my throat stops rebelling. Only 6 shows to go!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Edinburgh Day 22 - The Return Of The Wall

Hello again wall. Nice to see you once more. Thanks for encouraging me to drink all the whisky last night after a chat with Pete Johansson about what the point of it all really is. I was feeling relatively happy until enough people told me they were feeling shit about everything then I started to wonder if I should be. I assumed I probably should be so resulted in a boozy mess which I am now regretting. Oddly I am not to miserable about anything now, except me hangover and that my eyes hurt looking at the computer. I'm not sure if this is a clever diversion tactic to avoid moaning about Edinburgh, or if I wasn't that bothered by Edinburgh in the first place and really shouldn't have drunk booze. It does feel like everyone's had enough of it all now. It really does go on for ever, and I can't say I'm unhappy that I only have 7 solo shows left. As well as those I have only 5 other gigs to do this week which is a nicely small amount and after they have all finished I will be doing a little dance of happiness before falling asleep until February when I will decided doing Edinburgh again is probably a good idea. Everyone I speak to has got the Ed blues this week. The nominations will be announced very soon which will mean about 8 people get very happy again and everyone else gets more miserable that its not them. Reviews are slowing down a bit so there is less of that to be annoyed at. All that's left is general wondering why on Earth we've done it again. I'm slowly starting to wonder if the edfringe people should employ professional therapists and lovely people to just wander around the festival about now giving out hugs and general words of encouragement. People on marathon's get that. And a blanket. In fact that's what I want when I walk offstage at Comedy 4 Kids on Sunday. Can someone please run up and cover me in one of those foil blankets?

All my shows yesterday were a tad weird which doesn't help either. Well not all. Mervyn Stutter's Pick Of The Fringe was amazing. That was my first show, to a lovely sold out audience at the Hullabaloo tent. I did just five minutes, then Mervyn interviewed me while I stood on a box, on account of his rather tall height. Much fun. This fun then died a bit with all the other shows. I think it should be par for the course that all shows in the last week are awesome so you enjoy things a bit more. In my show only the right hand side of the room enjoyed it and the left hand side didn't. Very odd indeed. I was worried that the left hand side of my body had 'I Hate You' in big letters written down it. Following that was an ok but very empty Comedy 4 Kids. The show was helped along by brothers Augusto and Teadoro who if they ruled the world, want to behead all the adults. I explained to them that this wasn't very nice and also when they hit 18 they might want to reconsider that as they won't be able to think it through after.

I then did the Pink Bus which is a lovely gig, but sadly only 7 people attended last night. One of them was a Facebook friend I haven't met before, Emma, which was nice. Felt a bit bad not doing a proper show for them but it felt a bit odd just doing a set so I decided to have a chat. They were all lovely and I think it was ok, but it was definitely the closest I've felt to being that weirdo on the night bus. This was then followed by some booze and general misery chat with Pete and Courtney, mostly because some Guardian twat said Pete may get more punters if he was handsome and young like Jack Whitehall. And maybe more people would respect journalists if they didn't write stupid bloody things like that. I do wonder if the wall would even occur were all journalists a little bit better at what they write and less desperate to hammer out articles about any old shit. After shouting a lot about that I headed to Fordy's Lock In. I've heard lovely things about this gig and while I enjoyed bantering with Stephen Carlin, Mick Sergent (aka Lee Fenwick) and Matt Forde, the audience did not seem to enjoy it half as much which was a shame. This led me to drink all the booze given to me even quicker, followed by further booze at the Loft Bar and my drunken brain telling me it was a good idea to go home without saying goodbye to anyone and staggering off about 3.30am.

My parents arrive today. This is very well timed as it means the herald the arrival of some hugs, proper food, (mostly) sensible chatter and probably at least one moment when my Dad reminds me I should have got a PGCE just in case. I won't enjoy the last bit. After today only 10 shows overall to do! Hooray!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Edinburgh Day 21

I keep bumping into people that are excited about having Marmite on toast. I am definitely part of society that enjoys Marmite and does not hate it, but I'm not sure I would go so far as to say I 'love it'. I love lots of things but my feelings towards Marmite, while very fond of the yeast extract spread, do not quite extend to love. If there was a situation where a hostage took Layla and some Marmite and I had to choose between the two of them, it would not be hard to see Marmite get shot in the salty face. I think it is unfair to decide their are only two opinions of Marmite. I am looking forward to the day I meet someone who is apathetic to Marmite and I will write a joint letter of complaint with them saying that Marmite are opinionist. I am having Marmite on toast this morning though and I would like those 'lovers' to know that I am enjoying it, but not overly so. There, take that.

Once again sleep has won over blog and I chose to stay in bed while my rather creepy alarm sound hit snooze a few times. It is a very creepy alarm sound as though someone is sneaking up on me in a horror film. If you have an iphone, check the 'Time Passing' noise. If you don't, then stop being trapped in the past and get one. Ultimately there is little to say about yesterday so its not too much of a problem. The show was lovely. A woman in the front row kept laughing just before the punchlines to my jokes which was odd. I accused her of being a mindreader and she explained she could just see a good joke coming. I crafted a plan that were there ever an invasion of comedy we would use her as a scout as she would see it arriving on the horizon. There was also a man who laughed every time I said 'death', which I found a bit scary. Comedy 4 Kids was also brilliant with great sets from Grainia McGuire and Holly Walsh who are both up at the festival for a very short amount of time and therefore still happy.

Now full of Marmite, I have to do 4 shows today. I still have a sore throat, and I am preparing myself for full lost voice syndrome by later today. If this should happen, do any of you readers know a Tiernan look a like that could do the last week of shows for me? If so, please leave comments below. I'm off to Mervyn Stutter's Pick of The Fringe. Oddly, I am one of those picks. I'm not sure how that happened, but I shall honor them with my croaky voice and some tired jokes.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Edinburgh Day 20

A week and one day to go. It might not seem that far away for a lot of exciting things, but in terms of the Edinburgh festival, it still seems miles and miles away. It's about this point where I really miss my own bed back at home. We had a discussion about beds last night as Danny has completely fallen in love with his bed in Edinburgh. Its bed love to a disturbing extent, where he has named it Lucille and only leaves it when absolutely necessary. Don't get me wrong, the beds in this flat are good, but its not my bed and therefore not the best bed. Saying that, our bed at home is seriously awesome. It has that correct level of firmness and bounciness that beds needs. You can sink into it a bit, but if you lie down too quickly you don't bounce into the ceiling. I haven't named our bed but I really should. It deserves a name, and some sort of a title. Pehaps Bedward, the Bedminister. I will speak to Layla and discuss.

It was a lovely night last night. Staying in with all the crew, Tom, Nat, Danny and Eri. There was wine, I made sweet potato enchiladas and we eat ice cream. Temporarily it was like we weren't at the fest and were just having a meal amongst friends. It was exactly like that in every way, except that we spent the whole night venting about the fringe. Who we thought should win things, who really shouldn't win things, who's a bit scary, who's lovely, and the most common question on the Fringe every year, 'why on earth are we doing this?' Its good to be slightly self reflective as to why you've spent the best part of a year's wages so you can work your arse off for a month while critics brutally criticise you for months and months of hard work. The Fringe chat descended into Tom's game called 'Jongluers' where one person is the MC and the other has to shout heckles at them. The 'MC' has to retort with the first thing that comes into their head. I was not very good at this game, but Tom was clearly an expert. There was chat on the convenient surname of Usain Bolt, who got what GCSE's (Nat got far too many A*'s) and Haagan Daz vs Ben and Jerry's. It was brilliant. After all that chat and food I slept for 10 hours and now feel like a new T. Well a tired T that really wants to stay in bed all day, but a new T. As opposed to the old, even more tired T who forgot what a bed was. Don't worry Bedward, I didn't mean you.

My show yesterday was ace, and was aided by 4 late arriving people who had sadly been sent to the wrong gig for 10 minutes. Whilst trying not to be nasty, I explained to them there would be callbacks they would never understand and every time I did one, made them the butt of the joke by shouting how they hadn't got a clue at them. This lovely show was followed up by doing Lemoncustard Comedy at the White Horse, which is a lovely little gig hosted by Dee Custance. One of the acts hadn't turned up so I was allowed to do what I liked and just spent 20 minutes having a bit of a chat with the nice crowd. Two of them were from Birmingham and had seen me support Adam Bloom ages ago, which was really nice. Tried to do material they hadn't heard before, but also tried not to do show material and ended up failing on both levels. Afterward they told me they hadn't remembered my set from last October anyway, which was good. And also bad, as I clearly none of them were good enough to be memorable.

Another quiet day today. My show, followed by Comedy 4 Kids, followed by coming home and getting some sleep again. Its odd that I want to do this again. Maybe the Fringe is broken?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Edinburgh Day 19

Once again I have failed to incorporate blog time into my day and I am about to head to the Underbelly to see Collins and Herring's podcast. James of Twitter Comedy Club fame kindly bought me a ticket some time ago, and we both overlooked the dangers of watching anything that's on earlier than about 3 o'clock ie. we would both have been up drinking till the early hours. James's excuse appears to have been that he went drinking with Michael Legge, a dangerous endeavor I'm sure. Mine was that I was asked to compere the 2nd Annual Underbelly Sketch Off. This is an event where several upper class students wank off against each other to see whose sketch is wankiest, while non-students News Revue perform excellently but no one is there to cheer for them so they lose. Harsh but true. This is the main problem of any competition where it is judged depending on audience cheers. No matter how good you are, if you haven't got friends you will lose. This, I believe is a motto for life, and probably why I'm still struggling. (Please read last line with sarcasm. I have loads of friends. On facebook. Never seen them in real life but surely that counts right? Right? Sniff sniff, right?). To be fair to the Oxford Revue and Durham Revue they were very slick and polished, with some lovely sketches, but I grew to loathe their audience of 'look at us we went to a posh university while you reveled in your own sick at Kent for 4 years' bastards. I started with jokes and quips and ended up just shouting. I have since realised that that is not good for your throat. Forget all herbal remedies and pharmaceutical goods, if you want your sore throat to get better, the best trick is not to shout at people in a noisy bar for hours on end. Fact. You can have that one for free. After the Sketch Off, I bought one of our flyerers, Dave, a bevvy, as sadly it was his last day. As I've mentioned before, all the team are pretty awesome this year and I owe quite a lot to them as they've helped sell loads of tickets with enthusiasm for the job. Dave has to go back to Ireland today so I felt booze was an appropriate send off, as he's a top bloke. This small bit of booze descended into lots of booze until all the flyerers went to Silent Disco and I stupidly thought staying out was a good idea, drinking until the early hours. Bad bad bad.

Some release was needed though. I had one fun show yesterday, but sadly it wasn't mine. I was cursed with the only really bad audience I've ever had. As I walked onstage, before saying anything, I noticed a woman huff and look annoyed as though she really didn't want to be there. She kept her rain jacket on and clutched her brolly, whilst trying to find the most comfortable way to sleep in her chair. If you are looking for somewhere cosy to nap, please go home and don't use my gig as a place of sleep. There were several people actually enjoying it, but they got sucked into the vacuum of starey tired people and it became an hour long struggle to raise any mirth. I left hoping that none of them would ever darken a gig I do again. Fingers crossed today won't be the same.

Must dash for podcast hilarity. Tonight is relatively quiet, so I'm staying in. Whilst tomorrow's blog will have nothing of interest , it will also be longer. I may just type a succession of random words to keep you all happy. When I say all, I mean Randolph and the two other readers.

NB (see previous blogs for Randolph explanation.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Edinburgh Day 18 (and some of Day 17 too)

Hello. Here is a proper blog. It will contain many things. If you are concerned about how many things or perhaps are worried about an overload of things, then please look away. I understand that yesterday's blog was more minimalistic than an ant's impression of Dan Flavin (check my knowledge). So while you may have breathed easy for a few mins, here is a mega bullet point list of the two last hectic days of my life. Then just when you thought it was safe, I've stuck some links to things at the bottom. Yes! More Things! Thingtastic! Thinglacious! Thingamajig!

Where to start....

- My Show

Last two days of shows have been really fun. I thought my show wouldn't be fun anymore. I've said the words a lot and I thought that by saying them a lot I would hate them and never want to use them again. This of course would become problematic as I say some normal words like 'and', 'or' and 'Sainsbury's', so were I to not use them again, it might cause some issues in general banter. Luckily I am not sick of them and infact I'm enjoying doing the show more and more everyday. Crowds have been awesome and in the last few days I've encountered a parachuting soldier, the presenter from Channel 5's The Gadget Show, and a NY attorney called PD, which was short for Elpado, which sounded too close to the name for a Mexican wrestling paedophile. Fingers crossed the fun continues till the end.

- Mark Watson's 24 Hour Show

This will probably go down as the highlight of my fringe. I had wanted to be there for the start at 1am on Tuesday morning, but as Monday had been my day off, I vowed to get a good nights sleep before the madness of Fringe started for me again. Instead, I headed to the Pleasance Dome to join in the comedy endurance madness for about 11am. I had noted on Twitter that the current task was to find the smallest thing beginning with T, the biggest thing beginning with T and the best thing beginning with T, so I though it would be funny to walk in and declare myself the best thing. Feeling slightly self conscious about such a statement, I decided to also note I could just be the smallest thing. Mark then pointed out that they already had tea leaves, which caused me to boldly say I could make myself pretty small though. There was a Rhod Gilbert poster onstage and so it was decided I had to see if I could fit underneath it, which I could with ease. The poster was then declared my living quarters and I was suddenly the official 24 hour pet. I stayed under there until 3pm while people threw nuts and sweets for me, and I occasionally contributed to the proceedings. The only way I was allowed to leave at 3pm to do my show was if Chris Cox took me for a walk. It was supreme fun, and as soon as Comedy 4 Kids finished, I raced over to stay for the duration of the show until 1am (New Scottish Time). It was a truly brilliant night and while I hadn't been there from the beginning like the hardcore crew, I felt honored Mark let me join in and was very pleased to be part of the madness. Favourite moments (that I witnessed) were:

- Watching Mark run up and punch Brendon Burns in the arm as the audience sung Eye of The Tiger.
- James Sherwood's constantly awesome backing music (especially when he played the Third Man music as they were searching for the third Blind Date contestant)
- Blind Date with Simon Amstell and three young men from the crowd. I got to be Graham which was amazing.
- Chris Cox controlling everyone's feet and Adam Hils arguing he should do a trick 'everyone can do'.
- Al McGregor singing Creep, with Martin White and Amy Butterworth as a backing band. It was just beautiful.
- The unicyclist nakedly bundling Tim Key and Adam Hils
- Paul Foot's purposeful leaving 5 minutes before the end.
- Me making the George 4 Theatre audience all do an electric boogaloo in the style of Mexican wave. I think that's possibly the best thing I've ever done.
- The end retrospective, watching the videos of past 24 hour shows, before all the people who took part went on stage, sang Live Aid (don't ask) and then held Mark aloft as the champion of comedy marathons. It was a lovely end and such a shame he won't be doing another one. He's done amazing things and become an Edinburgh legend. That night won't be forgotten for some time.

There are some pictures of things on my facebook page. Do look.

- Jason Byrne and Adam Hils at Comedy 4 Kids

Yesterday's Comedy 4 Kids line-up was probably the best line-we'll ever get. Apart from me MCing, David O'Doherty did the opening set, which included a song he wrote when he was 10, called 'Ladies', and then the show was headlined by Jason Byrne and Adam Hils doing a double act. I had been looking forward to this all day and what ensued was the closest thing to anarchy any of those kids will ever see. Adam climbing on stuff and throwing mops at kids, Jason riverdancing blindfolded while the whole audience snuck out as DOD and Adam told Jason everyone was loving it, and Olympic Kid Throwing. It was on that borderline between being supremely hilarious and against all health and safety standards. Everyone else loved it. I spent some time really worrying about things going wrong. It is times like this I realise I am not a risk taker in any sense. I will take a cup of tea and some sensible reading over any extreme sports or rule breaking, any day of the week. I understand this is boring, but it will mean I never come close to dropping a large fan on a child's head from a great height. Still, it was amazing.

- Twitcom2

Last night was also the second Twitter Comedy gig. Being the second one, the press were no way as interested, but it had generated some hype online and we sold a good few tickets. The deal was that the comics performed to a live audience, while my right hand web man James Hingley, acted like a court stenographer and typed up the gags and tweeted them, ultimately getting RSI and losing feeling in his hands for ever. After some initial stress about lack of decent wi-fi and comics not confirming or dropping out last minute, it seemed to all go ok. After the 24 hour madness, and Adam and Jason's child revolution, I was not in the right frame of mind for the gig and hadn't really planned any gags for it. I was MCing and we were on a strict time limit, so I didn't much time for any, but I felt sad I hadn't thought it through. Although I did say that were anyone to see James with damaged wrists over the next few days they were allowed to shout 'Twanker' at him. Sadly, I was proud of that. All the acts were great, with some killer one-liners coming out, and despite the intense heat of the room, the live crowd seemed to enjoy it. There was some dissent on line, by @tweetcomedyclub followers complaining all the tweets were taking up the web stream. What the dickheads didn't seem to realise is that they could have just unsubscribed from the user instead of complaining about it. It has made me realise that there really are some complete tools out there. It was fun but not amazing and possibly overshadowed by the brilliance of the 24 Hour gig. Think I'll leave Twitter gigs for a while now.

Some other things:

- Journalists have not implemented my rule of not calling me before midday. This makes me sad.

- Brendon Burns is doing Comedy 4 Kids today. It will be brilliant.

- I have met lots of Twitterer's in the last few days. Special mention must go to all those Team Tiernaners that were at 24 Hour Show and Twitcom2, especially @shell_here who kept throwing kindereggs at me when I was stuck in my pet box, @GlossalFragster who's a very nice chap and the team of @sturmwulfe and @glamlovinkitty

- I shared a cab with someone I didn't know yesterday. Yes, like people did in the old days or in films. He had a cello so I thought it was safe. In fact he was a lovely man called Matthew Sharp who's doing an excellent sounding show at the Pleasance called 'Johnny's Midnight Goggles' and 'Finkelstein's Castle' where he combines music and storytelling. I very much want to go. So should you.

- Italics on Twitter is //. Were this introduced hundreds of years ago, calligraphy would have been shit.

- The Such Small Portions office is a very small portion of a the GRV building. Oddly fitting.

- Justin Moorhouse is an ace radio presenter.

- I have eaten 3 crepes in 3 days. If you are what you eat then either I should get a stomach as flat as a pancake, or just become crepe at everything.

- I was trying to explain to people why the Loft bar is better than Brookes bar. My reasoning was that in Brookes I constantly end up in conversation's about someone's 'Radio 4 show blah blah blah', whereas in the Loft, I get very drunk, use socks and puppets and somehow get gigs in Ireland due to drinking matches. The Loft wins.

- I am hosting the annual sketch off at the Underbelly tonight. I will let you know how many jokes I make involving my confusion about a sketchoff being a Russian spy, and exactly how many groans they get.

Bonus things to see and hear:

My Scotsman article from two days ago:

My interview with Fresh Air Radio:

My interview on the Such Small Portions podcast:

A lovely article in Fest Mag about Comedy 4 Kids:


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Edinburgh Day 17

There is loads and loads to blog about today but I am too busy to blog about any of it. This is entirely my fault you understand, due to staying out slightly too late and not getting up early enough. However, you, the blog reader must suffer for my incompetency. What I suggest is that you have a look at and read back through the tweets and transcript and whatever else, then imagine how good my good gig went and fill in other details yourself. I will write a double blog tomorrow but until then, here is some blank space for you to fill in the rest. It's like a do it yourself blog:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Edinburgh Day 16

Back to the grind today. Well show actually. There shall be no grinding here. Instead there will just be more shows. I think after a day's rest I'm up for doing my show all over again. It felt nice not saying all the same words yesterday and I'm oddly looking forward to doing the whole hour again today. Yesterday was a fairly uneventful day, what with it being my day off, but I did use the time wisely and go and see Keith Farnan's show which was brilliant and Glenn Wool's show which is now possibly the favourite show I've seen so far. Its really pretty awesome. Not much else to report and I need to go and join Mark Watson's 24 Show as I was too tired to head along last night. I will probably pop in several times today and horribly regret it as I'm then super tired for tomorrow's mammoth show day of my show, kids show and Twitter gig (for which there are still tickets). The last 24 hour show, where Mark was in Melbourne, I helped host 13 hours of the London link up venue. It was seriously good fun and I feel a bit sad to have not spent as much time on this year's show, especially as its the last ever one. However I also know I need to sleep if I'm going to do my show and in the battle of sleep versus Mark Watson, sleep wins. I mean it'd be pretty difficult to defeat the entire concept of sleep being just one man. If Mark did defeat sleep he'd be even more tired after his 24 hour show so he probably doesn't really want to.

I'm leaving this blog in a moment but before I do it appears the word of this year's fringe is 'literally'. Literally everyone I literally meet uses literally as literally ever other word. Literally. Its driving me nuts. Basically is the other one, as though people are constantly needing to dumb down whatever they are saying to tell me basically what they are talking about. And what they are talking about is literally basic. Here's what literally means:

1 : in a literal sense or manner : actually
2 : in effect : virtually
usage Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.

So does this then mean we are to assume that when people don't say literally before every single fucking word, that they are infact meaning that everything they say metaphorically? I am going to start responding to every sentence that does not include literally as though they are hypothetically speaking or referring in fact to something else. And when people say basically I think I will ask what the complicated version is. I have already started being as irritating to these vocab killers as they are to me. Whenever someone uses the term 'tell me about it', I spend a good length of time telling them all about it. They soon learn to stop. Some might say I am a word nazi. Maybe literally and basically I am.

Off to 24 hour madness. Well a few hours of it anyway.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Edinburgh Day 15 - Day Off

Its finally my day off today. To ensure I spend it the way I should ie resting and prepping myself for the rest of the fest, I cleverly drank my face off last night, to the point where the whole of today is a write off and I feel like a broken man. My plans of going to Edinburgh Zoo have been offset until the 31st. This is because a) Layla wants to go and she has just left to go back to London, but will be back up again by then and b) because I don't think they will like it if I am sick on a penguin. You can't be sure, but I have a feeling its in the list of things you shouldn't do to penguins while they parade, along with poke them with sticks, throw them, or try and eat them. I also assumed it was going to rain but it hasn't, so now my lack of zooage is entirely down to my drink damage. I'm sad Layla has left because I will miss her loads until she is back on the 27th, but also today I need looking after. Now I have to look after myself which is hugely unfair. If any of you fancy coming round and just bringing me nice stuff, then please do. I would like chocolate, some films with violence in, a cable so that Tom's Xbox works because he forgot the one that connects it to our HD unready TV, and later some booze so I can pretend I'm ok with drinking it then retch a bit and pour it away. Thanks. As it is my day off, this is all the blog you're getting unless you bring me those things now. If you don't you will have to make do with these simple notes from the previous 24 hours:

- I forgot my keys for the first time ever last night. This meant I had to wake Tom up at 6am to open the door, which I don't think he was too pleased about. I slurred sorry but its not really a proper apology. To be fair, Tom has forgotten his keys on several occasions, though most of these have been at reasonable times of day. Still I like to think that by accident I have exacted revenge by my really stupid key forgetting and that neither of us will do it again. If it was a competition, I've won.

- Silent Disco is still awesome but not as awesome as last year. This is mostly down to the stupidly large size of the venue and the fact you can't take drinks onto the dance floor. I can only dance after booze and it meant not much dancing was had due to the wanting to drink. Sort it out for us drinky dancers people!

- Sanderson Jones is Kent Valentine. Kent Valentine is Sanderson Jones. I have never seen them in the same room, so they must be one person. Its like how Luke Roberts is Bryan Lacey with different hair. Take that comedy doppelgangers!

- Saying my show was a 'lovely experience' with a confused look on your face is not a compliment.

- Go see Seymour Mace and Peter Slater in Sundayland at the Pleasance Baby Grand at 5.45pm. Its an hour of mental. I challenge you not to laugh at Dancing Like Old People and Nice Tunes, Nasty Things. I was the guest for Swear at Who, which meant two members of the audience swore at me for 10 seconds and the best swearer got a prize. There were some good swears, though my favourite was a the loser of the two just calling me a 'little prick' in a high pitched voice.

- My show yesterday was lovely. I met the Team Tiernan crew en masse. They all seemed awesome. Here's a pic:

Felt bad because I couldn't talk to them all and had to run to go and get sworn at, which was a shame as they'd all brought badges and pom poms. Hoping they didn't mind and will catch up with all 6 billion of them soonish.

- Just had a phone call about what may be the best Comedy Club 4 Kids show ever. More on that soon.

- Silent Disco was my idea, but because it was a good night, it now appears to have been Danny's idea. I'm not sure how he did that.

- Saw Simon Amstell (hear that name drop) and he was very nice as always. Reminded me of the time I walked past him in the West End about two years ago and assumed he wouldn't say hello and so carried on walking. Then he said hello and I looked like a dick. I am a dick, Simon, however, is a lovely man.

- If someone mixes records, they are a DJ. If someone mixes drinks, they are a fool. Unless they are a cocktail waiter. In which case they are a fool's aid.

- Edinburgh is a terrible place to be hungover in.

Right think that's it. I must now sleep.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Edinburgh Day 14

One day to go until my day off and I'm feeling back on form. My duties today involve my show, followed by getting sworn at for 10 seconds at Seymour Mace's show and then going out and drinking until my eyes bleed. Please note: eye bleeding result is optional. I've often used the term 'drink until my eyes bleed', but constantly point out to myself that were such an incident to occur I would probably be a bit sad, disturbed and in hospital. Going through other options I don't particularly want to 'drink till my leg falls off', 'drink till I break my face' or even mildly 'drink until I fall over'. Any of these could damage the rest of my week/life and so I need to be a tad more careful. I think I will just go for 'drink until my liver is a bit damaged and lose the ability to retain memories resulting in me doing something a little bit silly'. The venue for drinking will be Silent Disco, a night that has become a yearly ritual at Edinburgh. I have to go at least once during the run as I revel in its headphone based, inhibitionless madness. Last year was monumental with my highlight being when Andrew Maxwell and Danny (my flatmate from Ginger and Black) did a country and western jig while I was listening to drum and bass. The year before's highlight was me and my brother dancing to the Prodigy while my friend Ali did the Riverdance. If you haven't been, you're an idiot. Simple as.

Yesterday was pretty damn good. The T came back. I'm not sure where he went, but I found him again, we had a chat and he played the room like room hustler. Some lovely banter was had, all the jokes worked and I strutted out of the room like a cat who was wearing a fancy jacket and pipe and was off to get some cream. I'm hoping today is of similar standards. After that I had a lovey 10 min spot at Lemoncustard Comedy. I had to follow Carey Marx which is never an easy feat, especially as he did his top ten list of things you shouldn't say at a gig, which stormed the room. Luckily I had a lovely set too and as Carey had to dash off I handed out both our flyers at the end. I had a bit of a struggle doing this, as I only have two hands and a complete lack of co-ordination. Luckily a very nice man offered to hand out some flyers for me, and he didn't want paying or nothing. I completely relied on the kindness of strangers. I was tempted to do a Liz Taylor impression but felt it would have been inappropriate. And his girlfriend may have got jealous. Its moments like that though that prove there are nice people around. It went against everything I know about Saturdays and Saturdays at the festival in particular. Take that stag-dos!

I saw Kitson's play last night too. The Indeterminable Suicide of Gregory Church is proper Kitson. Moving, thoughtful and yet hilarious. So cleverly written, I still haven't stopped thinking about it since I left. I think that, and his Regents Park shows, may be why the stand-up show wasn't finished. I'd prefer him to do less and the less to be like that play. Quality not quantity Mr K. Really pleased I saw it and although me and Layla cringed a bit everytime he said 'genuinely' (it appears to be his new favourite word) it made me feel happy for the rest of the night.

No more for you today. I have to make a veggie sausage sandwich. Not only will it have veggie sausages in it, but also these veggie bacon bits I've found in Tesco's, garnished with English mustard and tomatoes. Oh yeah I don't mess about. I'm like the most carnivorous veggie there is. Faux-carni that should be my middle name. It would make my parents look odd though. Although I suppose they can't look any more odd after calling me Tiernan. I have just read that sentence back to me and said out aloud 'fair point'. I think the day off is needed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Edinburgh Day 13 - The Wall

A short blog today. The reason for this is that I think I hit the wall yesterday. It wasn't a particularly bad wall, and was certainly not covered in anti-climb paint or even rude graffiti, but it was a wall nonetheless. I didn't realise I'd hit the wall until I was about 15 minutes into my show, when I suddenly realised how bored I was with saying some of the words. Unfortunately I said some of the words like I was bored with them and got a bit tongue tied, and did a bit of a half arsed performance. This is bad. People have paid tickets to see me and no matter how little rest I've had, and how braindead I may be, I really should try my best not to babble on incoherently for 55 minutes. People I know that were in the crowd seemed to enjoy it, but I knew I sucked a tad. I remember someone telling me years ago that the more experienced you get in comedy, the more you can make a bad gig an ok, and an ok gig a great gig. I think I've just about managed to do that yesterday. Here's the problem: I feel a little like my brain has melted. Yes, I'm only doing an hour show a day plus between 2-4 extra shows/sets/MCing which may only add up to a little bit of work time compared to the average working day, but, my brain tends to overheat a bit unless I have one day off to put it to rest and not think of any jokes or anything. Monday's my day off and I'm just aiming for then to collapse and maybe go watch the penguin parade at the zoo.

After my show I admitted defeat to my dead brain and spent the evening going for a curry with Layla before we both went to watch Pete Johansson's brilliant show at the Underbelly. Layla hadn't seen him before and she laughed loads all the way through. Highly recommended. We grabbed a few drinks in the Loft Bar with Pete and his wife Courtney as they told us about Canadian things and exploding cars. Janeane Garafulo was in the bar too and Pete went over to talk to her as he knew her from the LA circuit. She is so tiny in real life. I mean, stupidly tiny. Like the sort of tiny that would get easily lost and have to be collected by someone and kept at a desk while people made announcements. I was tempted to go over and start talking about 24 but then I realised that a) I didn't really like Season 7 and b) I'm a big chicken. Still the whole evening ended with a crepe and some sleep and I've woken up today feeling a little better about the world which is good. I'm going to head to my show early and run through some lines, feign enjoyment and hopefully kick the gig in the face. As much as kicking anything in the face might sound bad, its actually a good thing trust me. Unless it is you that gets kicked in the face, then its bad. There's a very fine line in face kicking nowadays.

Few more nice reviews up. It does appear like it'll be the year of the three stars for me. I wish I could have got a few more 4 star reviews but all the 3 stars do read really nicely. Yesterday's show was definitely a 3 if not less but some of the shows after the first few days were definitely better. Sadly all the reviews happened between day 1 and day 4. I'm trying not to over analyse it all but its pretty much impossible, especially when the wall keeps saying that I should. Damn you wall! Just hope that the constant 3's don't affect this year doing anything for me, whether it be a few more stand-up gigs or some telly work, I'd hate to think I'd left Edinburgh with nothing gained but exhaustion. Although I suppose some people don't even get that so I guess it'd be a bonus. With any luck I'll get exhaustion and some sort of liver disorder. Fingers crossed people, fingers crossed!

Today = my show, a set at Lemoncustard Comedy, food, Kitson's play, sleep. Hooray!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Edinburgh Day 12

One day a law will be passed that bans anyone from interviewing or talking to a comedian before 12pm on any given day. The exception to this rule would if the comedian had been up all night and was still awake, which might marr the interview somewhat, or if the said comedian is in a different time zone. I had a phone interview this morning at 10am. It was a nice interview, by a nice journalist all about Twitter comedy stuff, but this does not make up for me feeling really bloody knackered. The problem is, there is no time for napping in Edinburgh. I have a succession of three shows to do today just between 1pm and 7pm and what I need for someone to eek in a tony siesta somewhere in the middle. What I think is that we need to relocate the Edinburgh Festival to Spain. Sure the heat inside the venues will be much hotter, but this will be compensated for by the 2-6 break for sleeping and the replacement of greasy fried grub with fresh tapas. Sure the audience won't understand half the shows but this will be made up for with beaches and the fact that they also wouldn't be able to type up their own reviews on All I'm saying is maybe I should suggest this to the board. Any maybe they will tell me to piss off.

Went to see Daniel Kitson yesterday. Its that time of the festival where that's what I do. He's the only act I ever book up for in advance, and then generally get to Edinburgh and wish I'd booked for others in advance too. Such is my naivety. Still Kitson was the little bit of the festival I was really looking forward to. Like most people who've ever heard of him, I only found out about Kitson through a friend that told me I really should go see him, way back at the Fringe in 2005. I went and sat by myself and watched his two hour stand-up show at the Stand and was completely blown away. It was heart warming, lovely, meaningful and most importantly very very funny. I had only been doing stand-up for a very short amount of time and had no idea that you could do that with it. I left feeling a warm glow and some inspiration. Not that I've ever written anything like that or probably ever will, but it got me to realise that there is always the potential to make people do a lot more than laugh just by talking to them. The fact that he was never on the telly or radio, made that performance seem even more special and I set about telling lots of people about it as I wanted them all to see it too. I realise I was fairly late to the bandwagon as he had won the Perrier several years before and was very well known at the Fringe.

I followed this Kitson sighting up by enforcing my family and Layla to come with me to see 'It's The Fireworks Talking' in 2007, which goes down as one of my favourite shows ever and subsequently got all the Douiebs hooked too. Then in the years that followed I've made several of his theatre and storytelling shows, worked with him at one big charity gig and sadly also missed some of his shows which have made me kick myself for not being quick enough with tickets. But every year he does something, I look forward to it. Sadly last night was not as impressive as usual. Not that it wasn't good. No, in fact as he said himself, a not ready Kitson is still brilliant. But the show wasn't finished. It was evident in several ways, and not just because he repeatedly told us it wasn't. Firstly, and most importantly, it didn't have that feel to a show that I want when I go to see him. That warm glow as you leave or that slightly tearful yet mouth hurting from laughing feel. It started late then overran, something I wouldn't have been too bothered with but it was late, hot and I was sitting on a stool that made my arse numb. Lastly his stuttering was at a high, which meant he wasn't comfortable with it, and he repeated words more often that normal. Two very small, overly picky points but if you've seen him before you will notice them. And I felt that after paying £10 and looking forward to it all year, it wasn't quite enough. As I said, it'll still probably be one of the best things I see all fringe, but after seeing Rhys the other night I feel like the few people I look up to in comedy haven't been bothered this year, which is a shame. Seeing Kitson's theatre show on Saturday which I hear is great so it'll probably fix all that.

Some more reviews for me. All very nice. Huzzah!

Chortle - -

Three Weeks one will be online soon and they also say nice things in their Comedy Club 4 Kids review too. Take that 'Chris, UK'! (from

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Edinburgh Day 11

My throat hates me. If it had the ability to think and speak all by itself, then it would give a slanderous interview to a tabloid where it would say I have subjected it to varying degrees of abuse. Then it would get a big front page spread and lots of stupid racist right wing members of the public would campaign to have me arrested and throw things at my house. I have learnt to a degree and since my throat rebelled against me yesterday morning, then I have done nothing but treat it right. Lots of honey and Sandersons's Throat Specific pastels, which are obviously better than the non-throat specific ones?!? I'm guessing they sell a whole range that can be pushed into your eye or cure athelete's foot as well as help your throat. I've just received a nice call from Sam Get Cape who told me the three tricks he does when he has a sore throat and needs to sing. I feel like as he's a professional at it, they are probably worthy tips and I'm going to out and buy some Manuka honey and ginger. There is also an odd noise I have to make that stretches the vocals, but does also make me sound like a mentalist. I'm fairly sure he gave me the tips as a nice gesture but there is also part of me that worries that he's done it so I will just sound like a mentalist. Its a difficult noise to describe but it could also be used to give a sarcastic 'handbags' type noise, so I may just get punched. As long as I don't get punched in the throat it should be ok. I've decided that if my throat really ceases to work then I do sound a bit like Tom Waits and will just bust out a piano and try to do the whole Nighthawks at the Diner album. I have a feeling some punters may actually prefer this to my show.

Layla's now here which means I've been looked after a bit. I've had vegetables and fruit and sleep and everything. Its amazing how she's such a good influence on me not going out and getting wrecked. When I'm buy myself I think 'Hmm probably shouldn't go out and get wrecked'. But then the idiot part of me says 'no, you're an idiot, go out and get wrecked'. And I do. However when Layla's here she says 'Hmm probably shouldn't go out and get wrecked', and as I ignore her and gravitate towards the bar she says it again and then we leave. I am very pleased with this. There shall be a few more sensible days until Sunday when Monday's my day off so we are both going out and getting battered. That's with booze, not batter. I know that because I'm in Scotland you may just assume I'm going to be a deep-fried Tiernan, but that is not my intent. Well it wasn't originally, but now I've said it, it could be nuts.

Yesterday was relatively tame. An alright show, with an audience who liked staring a lot. They were staring so hard I was worried my head might explode at one point. There was one woman in the audience who insisted on laughing like she was being hugely sarcastic about everything. Her facial expression said she wasn't but I couldn't help but believe the laugh. Then however I looked at her husband who seemed both angry at her stupid laugh and starey at me. It wasn't the most fun of shows. Still I survived with my stonking hangover so felt good about that. Then I did an interview with Fresh Air Radio, a student station. The presenter insisted on pronouncing my name wrong lots and then asking me the same questions again and again. I responded by not letting her talk much. I hope this comes out ok. If you listen to it and think I don't let her get a word in edgeways, then please understand that all her words were rubbish and it was for the best. I then met Layla and we watched Jason Byrne storm Comedy 4 Kids in the most brilliant way before going to Pizza Express for the slowest grub ever. Don't call a place Express if you then mock all that word's intent with the service pace of a crippled snail. Other parts of the pizza conglomerate don't have this issue. Ask Pizza is fairly correct. Whenever I visit, I constantly ask, 'Where's my pizza?'. And Zizzis, all the food is served by aged rockers with big, white beards. Maybe. The night was finished by a man at Old Rope telling me to hold the rope because I'd mentioned I was going to do the newest bit of material in my show. He was mean, but correct. Still managed to get two new gags out of it which was handy, before stomping home for an early night.

Today's nice and easy. My show, and Comedy 4 Kids, then tonight its Kitson's stand-up show. What that means is I will watch probably the best two hours in the festival before wondering why I even bother when people like Kitson exist. Its both brilliantly enjoyable and at the same time confidence killing. I shall be skipping half the way home then moping the rest.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Edinburgh Day 10

Edinburgh is a place of lots of ups and downs, and not just because there are shiteloads of hills. I mean, that does help. Hills are by nature, up and then down. Sometimes they are just down, then that's just a slope. Sometimes they are just up and that's not a hill at all that's just you being fired out of a cannon. Then sometimes they are neither up nor down and that's when it becomes a nursery rhyme. But as well as the hills, there are lots of other constantly variable elements. Its a month of rather intense working and with such things follows intense emotion and rapidly going from being elated to all a bit upset. Its like the city has been overrun with people with emotional disorders. I mean, I suppose it actually has. Us comics are all mental and the actors are worse. The people that want to see us are probably even more mental, but maybe I think that only because I'm a mental comic. Or am I? Maybe I'm delusional about that as well. And suddenly re-reading back that last sentence I have confirmed to myself that the reason I'm not hungover is because I'm still drunk. As it appears not to be safe to allow myself to wrote full sentences until I am booze free here is a simple chart of yesterday's rather tumultuous day (when I am not drunk I do not know what tumultuous means):

DOWNS (I am not being disablist with that title, promise. Or against parts of Hackney or Epsom)

- My throat hurts. This is bad as I need my throat. Every year my throat hurts about this time of the festival. What happens normally is that the next two days are spent with me talking like a frog that smokes (not as fun as it sounds). I'd like this to stop.

- I was meant to have a day off compereing Comedy 4 Kids but sadly Susan Calman wasn't feeling too great and needed to cancel which was totally fine but now throat is more sore and I blame the gig rather than all the booze I drank.

- I got drunk again. I tried really hard not to. When I say tried really hard, I mean I saw there was beer in the back room of Spank! and so I drank it. I am so weak.

- This: which I am now less angry about because its not even a review. He came on Friday which was one of the best days and appears to have not watched the show whatsoever, only writing two nonsensical sentences about it. I suppose this is better than writing 12 paragraphs on why he hates my face, but I'd appreciate a little feedback or constructive criticism as to why a 'perfectly amiable show' is only worth two stars. Wankers. All of them.

- I had to follow the Chippendales at Spank! despite being promised this year I wouldn't have to follow the naked promo. They were right, it wasn't the 'naked promo' but it was some naked men. Bollocks. Literally. There on the stage.

- I forgot to have dinner. That so rarely happens. I will have to eat twice as much today to make up for it.

Now before you all cry and start cutting yourselves, here's the nice bits:

HIGHS (please not this section does not involve drugs or very tall things)

- I had the best show of the run yesterday. It was so so awesome. There was a diabetic in the front row and we played diabetic top trumps. I won on having been diabetic for longer, but she beat me by once having blood sugars of a 52 and having to go to hospital. There were also two people who spoke up about what they wanted to achieve in life. One of them was @kezbat from Twitter, who I met afterwards and she was lovely. I like meeting lovely people. Paul's only note was 'do that everyday'. Hooray!

- Comedy 4 Kids was also awesome. A grand set from Pat Monahan and top first go at it from Chris Martin who made kids fight him. Its better than it sounds. I know it doesn't sound good but trust me, no law authority needed to be called.

- Went to see Susan Calman's show. It is awesome. Thoroughly enjoyed and it was lovely to see how it had developed since I saw the preview some months ago. Go see.

- Everyone thinks the List reviewer is a c*nt. Hooray! People are genuinely angry. Unlike the Hulk I like it when people get angry. But only when they get angry about things like that.

- Did a show on a Pink Bus that is an old double decker bus that's been turned into an art installation. Its covered in weird stuff and its well worth having a walk around, which you can do for £1 during the day. Then at night, because they are mentalists, they do shows on the top deck where you are surrounded by children's toys and severed dolls heads. I loved it but also now will forever have nightmares about the doll with a melted candle coming out of its head. Wrong wrong wrong and yet right. Matt Green and Chris Stokes were also on and great, as was headliner Adam Hils. After the show Adam had to run away because at last night's Late and Live he'd bought an audience member a ticket to Norway but had got the wrong date or something so had to go change it. So very odd, but also so very Adam Hils and so very Edinburgh.

- I kicked arse after the Chippendales. I opened with the gag ' I hate walking on after a bunch of cocks', and from then on kicked the gigs arse so many miles away it would had to get a plane back. I felt horribly arrogant and pleased by this and went round giving flyers to lots of people who were very receptive and said nice things. My flyering team (who are the best flyering team in the world ever - FACT) went round giving people flyers too even though it was their night off. They are so bloody awesome. I tried to buy them drinks but they wouldn't let me and instead one of them, Dave, bought me a drink. Madness. True madness. Actual genuine madness then ensued as I stayed at Spank! until the flyering team and me stumbled to the Loft bar and all carried on drinking with Paul B. Briefly met Jason Byrne too, who's going to be doing Comedy 4 Kids today and its going to be awesome. I got home just after 5am. Ouch, but yey! Take that List fuckers!

- Layla gets here today! Hooray!

Today involves more show, a radio interview for student Fresh Air Radio (I'll put it up when I get it), comedy 4 Kids with Jason B (I'm not doing it, but have to watch), Layla arriving and Old Rope tonight. Lets hope for more ups than downs today once again. That is all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Edinburgh Day 9

I've only gone and done it again. After feeling shit yesterday and having a stupidly long day of shows, I seemed to decide the best way to rest and get me through the day would be to do it all over again. They say you should learn from your mistakes and I feel that the bit of my brain that is used to decide things like that is clearly broken. I'm worried I broke it two nights ago and now will continue to make mistakes throughout the month. This would also mean though that I will be so brain damaged by the end of August I probably won't be capable of making any mistakes again. Or eating or walking by myself.

In the words of Ice Cube though, yesterday well 'I have to say it was a good day.' I started off rather grumpy, being all hungover and reading this review of my show:

At first read I thought it was terrible. But its not, its just a bit indecisive and (my Dad said) condescending. I wasn't too fussed but a) its my first review of the show ever and b) the reviewer left the show with a big smile and came over to have a chat afterwards, which I thought was a good sign. Still hopefully more will appear soon and either be better or make me wish I'd never moaned about this one, or infact gone to the festival.

I was cheered up by the rest of the days events. My short interview for the Radio 4 show was fun. I had to be serious, not funny, and say all clever things about why everything is very expensive at the festival while still saying how great it is. The lady that interviewed me did it from London while I sat in a tiny booth in Edinburgh and listened to her via headphones. It was all a bit odd, but after the CBBC stuff earlier in the year I'm better at speaking to people who aren't really there. Saying that, having used a phone for many years, I should be used to it in the first place. She was lovely though and told me about the term 'Staycation' which I'd never heard before. She also said what the term for two words combined was and where it came from but I've forgotten as it must've been stored in my broken bit of brain.

From the beeb I went and sat in the Cow Cafe with Keith Farnan and Annabelle, Jen and various other members of the flyering team and spent time defacing people's flyers and watching a man try and use a paper guillotene but constantly screw up. We found this hilarious and endlessly kept taunting him, which after a while we realised was not the best thing to do to a man who was handling a large sharp blade. Then my show was much fun. A smaller crowd than the weekend but far more participatory than Sunday's slightly dead group. It helped that the CBBC lot were in and Dave Coulson contributed by saying he really wanted a pet monkey which was ace. Paul's plastic Uzi also worked a treat. Its a real shame I couldn't have got him a shotgun but it gets the message across about what'll happen to the undead if they try and mess us up. After the show the CBBC lot made me drink a beer before I did Comedy Club 4 Kids. I can't help but feel they are giving the wrong message.

The kids comedy show was awesome. Completely sold out and the crowd were brilliant. Noteworthy audience included various people who would shout something then disappear, someone called Bob who though their name was unusual, and a little 5 year old boy called Vitali who sat on the front row with a balloon bee on his wrist. He had drawn a pair of fangs on it and told us all it was a vampire bee. As well as this superb moment of genius, he insisted he could speak Russian and told me his bee would kill me because I kept getting his age wrong on purpose. The show was headlined by the amazing Adam Hils who did his entire routine about Vitali and his bee being an evil Russian genius and how a little girl's panda called 'Shiny' would form a team of soft toys to defeat the bee. All the children were completely enthralled and it ended with a movie trailer for the battle where the audience would shout 'dun-dun-dunnnnnn' when Adam mentioned the bee. Its nights like that that Comedy 4 Kids truly comes into its own. While I've been really loving my shows, nothing gets more fun than that kind of madness.

The evening was spent with non-comedy people ie Layla's friend's husband Kevin. Despite the tenuous link, I know Kevin fairly well and he has to be up in Edinburgh on business. What this means is that he gets an allowance for food everyday and used it to take us for dinner, which was ace. Instead of comedy we talked about his job which is exactly like Glengarry Glen Ross or Boiler Room only not quite. Its occasionally so nice to not talk about comedy as everyday is spent within the Edinburgh bubble. I felt a bit like The Prisoner where the bubble chases him but he just gets away. Only after the dinner I had to go find the bubble and ask if it'd mind taking me back again for my late show. Just The Tonic at the Caves is now my favourite Edinburgh late show and had such a superb line-up last night with a great crowd. The acts were Andrew Lawrence, Pete Firman and the awesome David O'Doherty who got a well deserved encore. I had a lot of fun MCing due to the nice people who had such interesting jobs as 'Naval Designer' to which I got excited that anyone designed belly buttons; and there was a lady who got a fold up ruler for her birthday present. Sadly the gig was so much fun that I had a second adrenaline buzz and HAD to stay out drinking with my friends Rosie, Niki and the DOD until the wee hours. Those are the hours for weeing.

Consequently today there is some tiredness and pain. Its meant to be quiet everywhere today though as its the first Tuesday. I've got not many in for my show and then I'm not doing Comedy 4 Kids tonight because of leaving it in the capable hands of the brilliant Susan Calman, who is great with kids and also the size of a child which helps. Then I've got a gig on a Pink Bus which I'm hoping isn't a euphemism, followed by the late night madness of Spank! which will probably lead to more mischief. Layla arrives tomorrow which I think will be a welcome aid package of sanity.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Edinburgh Day 8

I'm a bit hungover today and need to whip myself up into shape to go and talk on Radio 4 in an hour about how poor the festival makes me every year. I've never talked on Radio 4 before, not even a little bit but I expect they want people who have coherent and clever arguments. Sadly I just have some booze in my brain and the ability to cough a bit, so fingers crossed that fills the brief. I'm not meant to be funny as its a serious matter following Natalie Haynes's superb article in The Times the other day. I'm very interested in stating a point about how much it costs to put a show on up here, but at the same time, right now I would prefer to stay in bed and let my brain have a nap. Its all my fault of course. Its not like I needed to stay out for ages and drink booze last night. I could just as easily have gone home and had a cup of tea, but sadly my willpower broke and I decided I needed a beer. One was needed. The second was a freebie bonus and you can't say no to freebies. The third was bought by someone else so it would have been rude not to, as was the fourth. The fifth was highly unnecessary and I don't remember how I ended up with the sixth. But here's what I think about that 6th pint: bleeeeurrrgggghhhhhhhh. I hope that helps convey my feelings on the matter.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Another sell out show which was exciting. Someone had to sit on the floor which was bad for them and all health and safety but I was pleased. Not because I like to see people burn but more because it meant people actually wanted to come and see my show. I think. It may have just been the zombie posters. Either way they were an ace crowd and much fun and that now means I've sold out two days in a row. I'm scared people will start calling me a sell out. I'm also fairly sure it won't last this week. At least definitely not Tuesday and Wednesday. Which is a relief in a way as I might have two slightly more chilled shows on those days. Not that the others are stressful. Its getting more fun everyday with Paul's introductions still changing. There are also several weird noises that come from the show next door, like gunshots, dogs barking and screaming. We have decided everyday to use that to pretend that zombies are attacking and I'm off today to buy Paul a small plastic toy shotgun to use when it happens. Hopefully the show will continue to run in such a manner. Still no reviews out yet, I'm hoping they won't ruin the fun when they arrive.

Not many other thoughts. Last night I saw Rhys's show and was horribly disappointed which made me sad. Rhys is a truly funny man. His sets always used to really make me laugh when we gigged together and I remember doing an audition with him once where I failed miserably because he made me laugh throughout. Yet last night's show proved he has changed a bit since stardom, but only in the way that he clearly couldn't be bothered to write any material. There were a couple of gems (especially a gag about Transformers), but that was all. I'm sure he's very busy, but for 10 sell out nights he really should have put something better together. I just get sad when very talented people don't bother using their talent. Fingers crossed he comes back with a proper stand-up tour at some point.

After that I headed to the Loft Bar to be a social whore and ended up having some fun banter with many a comedy person. Best bits were various tales from Mick Ferry whose show is hampered every night by the sounds of the Chippendales next door. As he kept saying 'Its an arts festival, but the Chippendales are on'. Very wrong.

Right must dash to jibber jabber on the wireless. 4 shows to do after that today so promise I shall write at length tomorrow. Well actually I'll write at my flat but you know what I mean.