Tuesday, August 31, 2010


As we arrived at Kings Cross station, Tom, Nat, Eri, Danny and myself teetered off the train onto the platform laden with bags, booze sweats and a giddy mix of excitement and being more tired than most BBC3 comedy plotlines. As other passengers pushed past racing off to their various destinations, we stood still for one minute. Danny got the video recorder on his phone ready, I took out the tiny party popper we had found in our Edinburgh flat on day one, and I popped it into the air with a meek 'bang' as we all fumbled for words along the lines of how we had beaten the fringe 2010. The party string floated over our heads and onto the platform as though all the fun had died and then Danny told us the recording didn't work. This, as Nat put it, felt like a metaphor for something. It probably is. We all hugged and parted ways feeling somewhat unsure of exactly whether we have won this fringe or if, in fact, it had beaten us.

Today was not easy from the word go. Not that anyone ever said 'go' to specifically start today. If anything, the first noises anyone made this morning where tired, pained, and somewhat still drunk groans of realisation that we still had a flat to clean and a train to catch all in but two hours, and this was not conducive with the previous night of, once again surprise surprise, 6am style going out. Still, we all persevered and final bits of packing and tidying later we all waited for the cab to arrive and take us to the station. Well all except Craine, who had left a bag of Nat's stuff at one of the venues and had to race off last minute to get it. After a month of living with him, this barely registered with any of us and we were almost all amazed he hadn't screwed up even more things than that and just leaving a bag without it having all his cards/keys/limbs in, mean he did quite well. At the station, we awaited escaping Edinburgh for another year, longing for home like a group of ETs. And then Edinburgh fucked us over. Up until that point I was almost certain it was Tiernan 1 - Fringe 0, but it stealth attacked us like some sort of performance based ambush.

How did the Fringe turn the odds around? By that I don't mean rotate members of a freak show. No, I mean, how did it kick us when we were already physically and mentally down? Well in the phrase of fellow blogger, misanthrope extraordinaire and perma-frown holder Michael Legge, 'Edinburgh said NO'. Like some scene from the Prisoner, just as we were about to escape....our train was cancelled. It was as though the fringe wasn't done with us yet. We weren't yet allowed to leave until it had crushed every last bit of dignity we had. Danny started spazzing out outside Cafe Nero, Nat pulled a face as though she had been told there was a court order meaning she'd only ever be able to eat cold baked beans and nothing else for the rest of her life, and Tom went to get a Burger King. I think he was just hungry. We surrounded the rail man and fired questions at him, creating plans to possibly hire a car and drive all the way home just so we could escape that instance. I was almost expecting the smoke monster from Lost or Rover the white bubble to appear and chase us back onto the Royal Mile. We decided that we'd get the next one and fight off anyone who tried to tell us otherwise. Barging onto the platform, using our bags as people movers, we disregarded all pleasantries from other comics or people we knew and fought our way onto the train and even blagged seats. Take that disorganised and poorly run East Coast rail!

We did it didn't we? Not quite. The relief was quickly dissipated when it was discovered that nothing is ever that easy. The wi-fi on the train didn't work, there was a baby that cried just intermittently enough that you couldn't ever work out exactly when to snooze, and two girls sitting near me said the most inane things I've ever heard a human being say. I should have known when they started discussing Peter Brook's The Empty Space out loud. I've read that book. I would never ever put anyone through what its about ever. I have a heart. I'm not saying its not good, I'm just saying that if you're not a drama student who speaks repeatedly like theatre is filtering out of your anus at any one point, then no one wants to hear you speak about the concept of performance out loud with voices that unnecessarily add 'aar' to end of words whilst having just completed a month of being surrounded by such morons. Shut up. Unfortunately they didn't. If anything, they became worse. The chat about Brook's book ended quickly, which is probably because neither of them can read for very long before re-reading lines in different intonations and then pondering which was is the correct way. Instead it was replaced with such talk about skinny jeans, La Roux and how 'he's so hot and really cool cos he like takes drugs and that like'. Whilst I cannot agree with the sentiment or shallow nature of the statement, it was the constant use of 'like' without creating a simile that made me want to ram a GCSE English text book through their overly made up eyes. Then the conversation turned to how they thought each other was 'so beautiful' and I realised that had they just kissed each other I probably would have forgiven them. Luckily my being as deep as puddle was overshadowed by the fact they just mimed actions to Beatles songs like proper bellends instead.

The journey seemed to go on for a millenia. There were several announcements about reaching a 'problem area' in Peterborough, which I'm still not sure what it means but it caused a sinking feeling in my stomach. This is the feeling you get when you eat parts of a kitchen and it does sit well in your tum. See what I did there? See? Hey? Hey? Sigh. You're all just lucky I didn't type my joke about being worried about a 'problem area' having something to do with algebra. Sneaky McSneakerson. I decided that as I had very little left to lose at this point in the day, I would indeed snooze. Then the baby started again and I contemplated running along the aisles spamming everyone I could. It wouldn't have helped things but I'd have felt better. And everyone would be spammed. Luckily the delay didn't happen. Nothing really did. Just hours of boredom. Inane, mental inducing boredom. To the extent where myself and Craine had a pun off (he lost), I met a small dog called Martha and broke all possible petty conventional train rules by doing this:


Sorry. But that is why I wonder if I have indeed beaten the fringe. Its made me a bit loony this year. I get angry at drama students, break train rules, I've been mostly speaking in a faux 70's American funk pimp type accent and I keep saying 'bellend'. This is not normal. Now back at home I'm wondering if a few days of sleep, no booze and proper food will turn me back to normal T. Or maybe the Fringe is cackling away in its lair, knowing that from now on, the Douieb has turned. This would mean he wouldn't be looking at the computer but instead at the wall and this blog would abruptly stop. So hopefully its the former.

Edinburgh - its been another bloody joyous month. Lots of new friends, better friendships with properly lovely people, ace shows, kicking the fuck out of silent disco, tackling the fuck out of critics and drinking all of the booze. This is the first year I've broken the tradition of not getting myself a congratulatory bottle of whisky on departure. I like to believe that's because there is none left in Edinburgh because I've already drunk it all. Roll on the new comedy season and year of actual life. Let's hope you're as much fun.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Here Endeth The Fringe

Stick a fork in me, I'm done. Fringe 2010 took it in the face. Its now Monday 30th August and I'm not dead. Therefore Tiernan 1, Fringe 0. Its nice to complete your achievements. Mr room's packed and we're all about to grips with cleaning the flat, which shouldn't be too bad apart from the bathroom and kitchen which currently have life forms growing in them that we should keep and give to New Scientist as a Christmas present. Its amazing how over the course of a month the areas for eating and cleaning should become the most unhygienic part of the whole flat. Were you to see either right now, you'd be curious as to how any of us are in anyway clean ourselves when surely having a shower in a our studenty cess pit of a bathroom can only be coating us in further dirt and the build up of plates in the kitchen looks like a tiny crockery based empire. This shall all be dealt with in a matter of hours and then the last day in Edinburgh will commence until we all leave tomorrow and wave this city goodbye for another year. I then give it two days before I start discussing how this year's fringe was and then a week before I start thinking about next year's. It dominates the life of the comic like an unseen performance based overlord. Sauron with jazz hands.

Yesterday was a top send off for a final show. A great, packed crowd and audience members who insisted on waiting to tell me how much they'd enjoyed the show, which meant a lot. One said it was 'inspirational'. I think they are possibly very easily inspired and wouldn't be surprised if later that night they were inspired by a particularly large seagull and someone falling over their own feet. Still I've never inspired anyone before, so if that man now goes away, grows a tiny goatee and starts shouting about 'Dolmio' then I feel I've done something right. Then it was all about kicking the shit out of Silent Disco, which en masse, we did. Forming a circle, the most gallant dance troup of some of my favourite people this fringe, proceeded to throw more shapes than an angry Playschool presenter. All sense of dignity was lost and everything was enjoyed from Morrisey to the Prodigy, each song indiscriminately being given our collectively small array of moves. Highlight's include the K-Hizzle's robot and syncro-dancing with Jen, a comedy dance-off against Danny, and myself and Matt Blair moshing the shit out of RATM. Amazing. There was a mass conga to a Brazillian type track and the feeling of relief that we'd all got through August was obvious. Every big occasion should end in a Silent Disco. Weddings, graduations, even funerals. There is nothing quite as therapeutic as dancing like a proper bellend.

And now to enjoy the next 24 hours without having to do a show and say the same words I've been repeating everyday since August 6th. It shall involve seeing Nat and Tom's last shows, a baked potato, Tim Fitzhigham's champagne reception and possibly the Stand party. Well done Fringe 2010. You've been a bit awesome as always.

Tomorrow's blog from the train will be Fringe highlights and the Fringe list. Be prepared.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fringe Day 26: Bitey Berserker Vikings

Forgive the brevity of this blog, but its my final show tonight and I fully intend to enjoy every second of the lead up to it. Yes it would help if I wasn't hungover. Yes it would also help if I wasn't wearing a towel around my shoulders like a Roman which is restricting my typing ability while doing this. Yes it'd be nice if last night had been my final one as they were an awesome packed crowd and it was a great gig and today, being Sunday, will be quieter. Yes my throat finally feels like I've been gargling gravel. No, I don't give two monkeys in a big bag, tied nicely with a ribbon. I'm about to go and eat the biggest breakfast possible and then mosey my afternoon away generally shouting 'No' loudly at flyerers and writing out lists of just how many hours I'm going to sleep when I get home. So in order for me to get underway with such things, here's some quick things about why yesterday was a great penultimate show day to have:

- Andrew Maxwell's story about why he only woke up with only one shoe yesterday morning is by far my favourite story of the fringe so far and caused me to double over with laughing pain.

- This story was followed by him leading me and Paul in a march to the National Museum of Scotland to see the Lewis Chessmen, a collection of Viking Chess pieces, all of which were given voices by Maxwell as he marched round proclaiming he was the King of Scotland and generally causing top levels of mayhem. The chessmen were pretty awesome and I reckon I'd be far more interested in chess were current bored to have a pawn that looks like a berserker viking biting his own shield. I've never eaten a shield. I assume its not as tasty as breakfast. That proves he was proper mental.

- I had ho-fun noodles. They are not as exciting as their name suggests.

- There is nothing like walking back with all your flatmates as the sun rises at 6am and the city looks incredible, whilst you foul it with some of the crudest chat you've had all fringe. Take that the morning and all its serenity!

- Lots of bloody nice people came to show yesterday. I like it when this happens. Hoping it will happen again today.

- I'm still not dead. It looks very likely that I will beat the fringe. Fingers crossed. I will be sure to avoid all possible Edinburgh death traps.

That's all. Tomorrow I'll start my Edinburgh lists. Maybe.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fringe Day 25: Penultimateinityisation

Only two shows left to go. I've woken up, booze free, full of sleep and with the prospect of this festival ending. Up until today, I've been excited about this. The behemoth (the largest of all moths) of festivals is done, and the light at the end of the tunnel is made of glowing vegetables and the prospect of my own bed. I should be dancing over lampposts, kicking over bins and singing various songs from musicals in a high pitched mock US accent. So then why oh why am I starting to feel a little sad that it'll very soon all be over? Well a) partly because I'm a fickle idiot who can never be bloody happy with anything, but mostly b) because the monotony of normal life will hit me in the face like a life brick thrown by a monotonous man. Whilst the endless drudgery of repeating the same words day after day, seeing the same people, never having a day off, can all be soul destroying after a while, the thought of sitting in a service station at 3am with a pasty having just performed to 200 people who consisted of stag dos, hen dos and the general menagerie of people who should never be allowed outside, is worse. After weeks and weeks of having your own show, being someone people have chosen to come and see, suddenly you end up back as just a name on a bill. Suddenly you end up at home, not constantly surrounded by people you like, in bars till 5am, talking about how to play dead seagulls like bagpipes. Bah to the fringe and all its wily ways of making you miss it.

I give myself two to three days before I magically forget hitting the wall halfway through the run, or the two tough crowds I've had, or any of the lows, and start to wonder what to do for next year. Its like there is some sort of mental block that appears once you escape the town's borders, and memory is instantly erased and replaced with the desire to lose thousands of pounds doing it all over again. Its very clever and I'm not sure how Edinburgh does it, but it should surely be looked into as it can only be illegal. Its a kind of special city based mind control. I might ask Derren Brown to investigate it and he can prove it as a fraud and then everyone will start up a festival in somewhere drab instead and spend 3 weeks hating it, then never come back and it'll have to move locations every year in order to make it work. Its like I have all the ideas. All of them.

The end of the fringe is very much like New Year's Day for those with normal working schedules and the next day or so will be spent trying to figure out what to do next in terms of writing, where I want to be in a year's time and exactly what DVD I'll watch as soon as I get home. Priorities. There's loads I'm going to try and cram in, including shows and today me and Keith are heading to the cinema to watch the new Edgar Wright film. I like to say we're going on a Pilgrimage. Arf. Then penultimate show and embracing the night life once again before I return to my slightly more sedate usual post gig service station dwelling. I bet the coffee shop man at Watford Gap Services has missed me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fringe Day 24: Blaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh

I can't be arsed to blog today. If I could repeatedly type the word 'blaaaaarrrrggghhhh' over and over again, I would and it would give you an adequate idea of just how many words are left still in my brain at this point. This is very difficult to type today so here instead are some quick not very interesting points:

- If you tell a Cuban brother he's not allowed to dance because he'll be so good he makes everyone else look like a prick, he won't listen. Meanie.

- Herbal Tea is the new comedy thing. Its not very funny though which may prove a problem.

- Colin Hoult's 'Enemy Of The World' is the best show I've seen all fringe. FACT.

- My iPod works again. James Hingley is a saint.

- Stair races currently stand at 5-3 to me. Winner.

- How is the fringe not over yet? How?

- Can all journalists please stop putting our jokes in their reviews now please? Contrary to what they may believe, we have to use those again and again to get paid, it'd really help if you stopped writing them up and ruining them. So unprofessional. I will start to tell the news on my shows just to ruin your job in revenge.

That is really all today. Sorry for such a dogshit blog. I need coffee.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fringe Day 23: Paaaartaaaay

I think that when a day starts with you opening your door, seeing your flatmate, asking them if they remember how they got home, they reply no, and you both high five, that your new levels of what sort of behaviour is acceptable of an eve have had their standards reduced somewhat. These morning occurrences have got more and more regular with specific highlights being the topless mime gun fight we had last week and Craine's informing me that he still only has 5 socks and has been re-wearing them all and borrowing Nat's rather than just buy socks. We have all hit a new low.

It is party week though and party is what will happen. After 4 long weeks of Fringe, the thing all partakers, be they performers, staff or whatever it is other people do here - professionally loiter I think - just need to proverbially let their hair down and get very drunk. Last night was my favourite of the parties, now that the big end of Fringe Awards was so horribly stolen from us a year ago, the Mick Perrin party. A free bar until the wee hours and a general desire for mayhem from everyone attending. I'd love to tell you what happened, but I honestly don't know after sufficient amount of booze. I just know I'm not dead and I'm still a bit drunk so it feels like a win for the team. My fringe aims have substantially dropped recently and I'm now just working on the basis that as long as I'm not dead by Monday then its Tiernan 1, Fringe 0. There are still 4 days to go though and another free booze party tonight so anything could happen. Its nice to have these sort of challenges.

Of course I could slow down, but my problem is, I bloody love parties. If I was in a zoo, my little info blurb on the stand outside my cage would say 'Party Animal. Mostly found at parties. Mostly eats - booze and canapes. If Party Animal seems like he wants attention do not talk to him or stroke him as he is drunk and will see that as a come on leading to awkwardness until he loses all memory and spends the next day apologising. Party Animals only live till they are 30+ after which they lose all urge to have fun and get interested in gardening and sitting.' I do bloody love 'em. I could totally stop comedy and just work as a professional party goer. The problem with this would be my chat would be super dull as it would only be about other parties and really, if I think about it, not a lot happens. You talk to some people, everyone drinks and therefore pretends its more interesting than it is, and if you're lucky you get a hilarious anecdote the next day about falling over in a cab or being sick on your own shoes. The sorts of stories that without the booze would just seem odd. Yet, the lure is still there to go and do all of that. Its an odd mindset where I would prefer to spend an eve like that than say go home and read something intelligent and ponder the universe.

Will it ever change? Well there was a while when I wouldn't party as much, but now, as a single chap, I have nothing to lure me home besides the prospects of lying in my bed wondering if the party I'm not at is fun and what I'm missing. The truth of course is that what I'm missing is talking to some people, drinking and possibly being sick on my own shoes. Note: I have never been sick on my own shoes. In fact I've only ever been sick from booze six times and two of those were due to a milky coffee the next day, two were because of pint downing races and one was due to a cigar that I inhaled wrongly. I'm generally a very good drinker. I would even put it on my CV. Despite my tiny stature I can drink for Queen and country until someone gently puts an arm round me and makes me go home. This is what's happened most of this fringe. Sigh. Only four more days. Just....mustn't......die.......

Luke has just walked back in the flat after having gone swimming drunk. The booze made him get bored and so he has just done several laps while singing various bits of the Super Mario theme tune to himself under the water. Amazing. Hooray for parties.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fringe Day 22: The Name Game


So far, everyday, the Meadows has never ceased to be a constant source of entertainment for me. From stick insect selling to weird violin playing tightrope walkers and people kickboxing, its been one of my simple joys of this festival, just walking through and witnessing such oddities. Yesterday was no different. Instead of a performer this time though, the joy came from four drunk men sitting on a bench. They were playing a game that entailed shouting first names at people as they walked by in the hope they would get the right name and the person would look. They were surprisingly good, getting at least two Marks, a Steve and a Helen before I approached them. I then walked past as slowly as possible and completely ruined their game. I win.


There were better examples than this yesterday but I forgot to take a picture of my favourite, as done by an anonymous flyeditor, of 'Two Brothers, One Cup - a youtube sensation.' Amazing. So here are my feeble attempts instead:

Keith Farnan

Carl Donnelly


At Comedy 4 Kids yesterday, Stu Goldsmith had to deal with a 7 year old boy called Edward who insisted he was an evil robot and could only be deactivated by a certain password. After going round the audience for suggestions, it turned out the correct password was 'farts'. Its nice to know that in the future, science and puerility will combine.

Only 5 days left. Still not dead. Fingers crossed this stays like that. Parties start tonight. There's a high chance I won't make it past Saturday alive.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fringe Day 21: Flyediting Professionale

My favourite new game of the fringe is Flyer Editing, or Flyediting if you will. Its a very simple game that you can play too with any flyers any time of the year, a black marker pen and a huge amount of time to waste. Luckily at the fringe, I have all of these things and so, flyediting has been born. Here are my current attempts so far. Why not give it a go too and post your pics in the comments section?

Number 1: Jim Jefferies

Now reads:

' Jim Jefferies the Australian, returns with his mammoth for the whole month of August. Some of Jim's material is frank. You will hear about severely disabled Jim's pet.'

'One of the most comedians working' The List

'Jefferies will have you in the aisles' Edinburgh Eve News

'Unbelievably Simply' Man News

'Jesus' The Scotsman

Number 2: Paul Zerdin (co written by Laura Lexx)

Now reads:

'Star romance and boo. Pa Zerdin: Spongest Sit.'

'A show' The Man

'If you thought the brilliant ventriloquist could not appear in Paul Zerdin, brutal re-education. Standard.'

Number 3: Celebrity Autobiography (co written by Laura Lexx)

Now reads:

'Celebrity Rap. Direct from cocks. Star in this embarassing, banal, celebrity experience.'

'Hands Down, you weep and pick.' New York.

Number 4: Rob Rouse

Now reads:

'Rob's return to Edinburgh last year, came in floods. This year Rob is girlfriend, toddler, dog...however, the hard bit lurks within us all.

Number 5: Sammy J

Now reads:

'Fresh juice. Join on of the audiences with a hand up something's arse.'

Number 6: Pete Johansson (co written by Carl Donnelly)

Now reads:

'Best New. Pete's consistent. This year, Pete's induced brain damage.'

'Critics on sunday.'

'Accurate' The Guardian

Number 7: Carl Donnelly

Now reads:

'Horse of the year. Last year's Carl, has been. Expect a failed attempt. Carl has appeared for men.'

Number 8: Mike Keats (co written by Laura Lexx)

'Eat behind the Cuban Brothers. Turn to his turn to his town's anal front. No. This will be the first delve into his hotly antic-pated highly improvised dance uncle. Mike sheds on the host.'

'Everyone's out. No.'

Number 9: Me (entirely written by Laura Lexx)

Now reads:

'You really do love extensive surgery to look like a werewolf where appropriate. Flattery can get you within a special small thing and can really affect someone. As a professional, Tiernan Douieb explores people, the versatility of waffles bits, some bits about two uses of horses. You may have Tiernan. End him.'

'Clearly a person'

Number 10: Keith Farnan

Now reads:

'Sex show from critic Keith Farnan whose shows about Jews proved damned. Keith Farnan looks to 7 year olds. A doctor revealed he was Belle Du Jour. They don't seem to know there's the ruin. So what do we want?'

Number 11: Andrew Maxwell (co-written Laura Lexx)

Now reads:

'Tim them suppress nay. ET. * tit.'

' Most comedians today dent. Fierce ting. Tim. Ass. Ass Hall. Box Ass.'

Number 12: Tim Fitzhigham

Now reads:

'He's the only man in a bath. He's broken a paper boat, run up and down, undergone armour, and pioneered dancing. He's narrowly avoided several occasions just for you. Now Tim is a problem - a big one. He's man fighting to protect a way of ridiculous. Join Edinburgh's only ship and witness one predictable comic.'

Number 13: Susan Calman

Now reads:

'Calman is dead an infectious too. - The Guardian'

'Susan Calman is statistically not lovely. Join Susan Erect. Bring most annoying people.'

More soon!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fringe Day 20: Lazy Blog

Quick blog today. This is mostly on account of laziness. Not that I have a lazy account. If I did, I wouldn't be all that bothered to ever put money in it. I'd be too lazy. Bank's should offer such things. Though I suppose they do. They're called savings accounts. I have one, and I'm too lazy to put anything in it. And too broke. Essentially, all I'm doing is saving everyone's time by leaving it be. So that name works. In a way. So yeah, lazy time. Here's a few things then I'm going back under my Bedinburgh duvet for a bit. Aaaah, Bedinburgh. HERE ARE THINGS:

- Bex is a bloody excellent cook. The only possible downside of her being lovely and inviting several of us for dinner for nice food, is that my body was in no way prepared for nice grub and immediately decided after eating her awesome lasagna that it needed to shut down and sleep. Several hours of slow moving then occurred and I haven't been that tired all fringe. I've decided I need to back away from such vitamins and wholesome tasty goodness and just eat crap now till September to survive. Upon my return home I will ruin myself with healthy things and deal with the consequences.

- Turbo Toon is not as good as Turbo Crab.

- Lovely 5* audience last night, despite its smallness. Extra points awarded for the presence of Terry Saunders, his lovely wife Claire, the also lovely Sanna, and Brett who is ace. Hurrah for all these things.

- I was attacked the 'World's Smallest Kite'. It is not a toy. It is a macro weapon.

- I keep seeing a man in the Meadows who balances on a tight rope while playing the violin. I can't help but want to just ask him 'Why?' I mean surely, he could just play the violin not on a tight rope? Or just go home and have friends? I worry he has taken the understanding of 'string instrument' too far.

- My parents have only been in Edinburgh for 48 hours and have already had a bizarre incident whereby they called the police to investigate screaming and shouts for help that turned out to be a gay couple, er, indulging in certain activities, downstairs. Amazing.

- I don't understand the difference between taglines and show titles. Idiot.

- I also can't add up numbers.

- The above two points are both valid reasons as to why I probably shouldn't help Farnan run the pub quiz anymore.

- The above point is rendered void by the fact that there may be no more pub quizzes this Fringe anyway.

That is it. Really have nothing for you people today. Why not write something yourself? Here's a big blank space and you can draw a picture if you like or even write some words. Why not pretend to be me and write about my day? In fact, why not do that every day and then I won't have to blog and can just think about not putting money into my savings account? HERE'S THE SPACE:

Drama students - don't get too excited that you found it.

Das ist alles.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fringe Day 19: Sticking It To 'Em

Every year everyone finds their own special fringe moment that makes them fondly remember the oddities of the year for one reason or another. Tom's one this year was seeing a man cry by himself,on a waltzer, which I still can't stop smirking at whenever I think of it. I saw Celia Paquola today who told of seeing a man on the Royal Mile last year punch a flyer by accident when trying to put his coat on. Brilliant. These sort of moments and the extent to which they make you smile or laugh are often an indication that the festival is nearly over and your brain needs to seek some sort of solace in the banal. My moment happened yesterday. Walking through the Meadows with Tom we passed two small boys selling stick insects. They could not have been more than nine or ten years old, and yet holding a small hand drawn sign and three jars full of stick insects they were attracting more attention than any of the musicians or performance artists. Standing there shouting phrases like ' Only three left, they're very easy to look after' with a level of confidence that would have sold ice creams to Eskimos. I'm fairly sure Eskimos, or Inuits to be correct, do eat ice creams, but a better analogy is lost on me right now. Its like I've got less analogies than er....hmm...oh. What I'm trying to say is that their entrepreneurial skills were to be admired. When I returned to the Meadows only 45 minutes later, they were gone, so I assume all the stick insects had been sold. I couldn't see them giving up and leaving. They were clearly the most determined people at the Fringe yesterday and I hope they return next year. Perhaps, it will catch on and several children will start selling things like homemade lemonade and old toys until the Fringe is transformed into a street from a 1950's comedy.

Yes, that story doesn't really have an end. No, nothing in particular happened. But I liked it. This could well be an indicator of my mind set at the moment. Having passed through week one in sheer excitement and enjoyment, then week two of mind numbing wall hitting despair, I am now in week three. The final week. This week is for not caring. We are on the final stretch as of today and I am just going to do what I want for the week, see shows, go out every night and generally not care one iota. I'm still not sure what an iota is, but I really don't care about them. I assume its a state in the US. I have figured out all the things I don't like about the fringe and there is little I can do about them ie the heat in my venue etc etc (everyone complains about this every year and yet still it appears to be totally overlooked. I can only assume the venue managers are cannibals and want everyone to be slightly steam boiled for self feeding purposes). I'm honestly not sure what I'll get out of this fringe and any possibilities of it leading to anything are slowly being drained from my mind set, so therefore, apathetic Tiernan has been created as a combat to such things. I like to think its a bit like those supervillian stories whereby some incident transforms them to become a metal faced wearing megalomaniac. Well this year, the fringe has generally made me care less about most things. I will rapidly transform into Apathy Boy, the most useless of all super powered beings. 'Help me Apathy Boy, my dog's trapped in a well or something' will be responded to with 'Give a care' and then a series of sighs before I flick through all the television channels several times over and fall asleep sitting up. My costume will consist of a mask that's only half coloured in and only has one eye cut out, a cape made from a towel and whatever pants I'm wearing at the time. My arch enemy will be anyone who actually can be arsed to do anything. I might draw this today. Joy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still having hella fun. This is merely stage three of fringe mind set. Psychologists would have a field day up here. Then after they've stopped mucking about in the fields they'd probably get some good research done. By September we'll all be back to normal, trudging the roads to gig to all sorts, missing the fringe and wondering how to throw away £8-10k next year. But as for now, this week, the T shall just very much do what he wants to do. Maybe, just maybe, I'll start selling stick insects in the Meadows. Or perhaps I should try and branch out? Branch? Eh? Eh? Geddit? Sigh. Stupid fringe.

End note - I went to a nightclub last night. For ten minutes. Then I left. Despite paying an entrance fee. I am clearly old.

Oh and Tim Fitzhigham's show is brilliant. FACT.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fringe Day 18: 5.30am Bad Time


There comes a point every single fringe where I get a big spot on my nose. Its as regular as every other element of the fringe and appears that my personal stress likes to manifest itself in a way that makes me look like Rudolph the Red Nose Human Dude. This year, it arrived two days ago and was fairly unnoticeable. Then yesterday I got bored and took it down, whilst resisting to shout 'expelliarmus' and eventually leaving my nasal region looking slightly like it had been personally attacked by three bees with reason for revenge. Paul Byrne was trying to sell me the need for concealer as a performer yesterday, but I refuse to bow down to the ways of the ladies and choose instead to wear my nose scar with pride. Its my festival battle wound in a way. People will stop and point and call me a 'survivor' and things like that, knowing that I've got two weeks through the fringe and all I've endured is a bright red nose, which several people in Edinburgh have already purely through boozing. Either that or they'll point and laugh at my spot nose which is what Carl did all night last night. I'm still not going to buy lady make up though. FACT.

Other bits of me are slowly falling apart too. A late night race, initiated by the sort of delirium that 5.30am brings to the table, has left me knowing that I definitely damaged my right thigh last week as I'm now hobbling around like a particularly pathetic pirate. A spotty pathetic pirate. Sigh. And I've somehow agreed to run round Arthur's Seat with Lizzie - one of the excellent and most street team - which I'm going to hugely regret. Stupid 5.30am and its stupid ideas. Someone needs to put warnings out for that time in the morning saying things like 'don't agree to anything' in big red triangles all along my journey home. This would probably hamper many peoples romantic interludes, but frankly, if it saves me running around a big fuck off hill then I couldn't care less. TRIPLE FACT.


I saw Ginger and Black's show yesterday and it was hella awesome. An awful lot of moments that genuinely had me, still not feeling my greatest at the time, actually howling with laughter. Its properly sick, twisted and severely odd but much much fun. I won't tell this to Danny though, as I live with him and don't want him thinking he's all good and that, so I've carefully written a one star review that I'll leave on his bed later as a treat to destroy his festival like a proper friend.

5.30am bad decision number 3 - a ginger haired girl called Abby decided to add herself to the Ginger and Black team without asking to create Gingers and Black. Danny nodded until the realisation of how bad this would be dawned on him. Go away 5.30am. Bad bad time.


Halfway through my show last night, a man at the very back row stood up and put his hand up. I stopped and enquired what the matter was and his response was this:

'I'm really enjoying the show, but its very hot in here and I'm going to Silent Disco and want to smell fragrant for the ladies. Do you have a facebook fan page as I do think you're awesome.'

Best. Heckle. Ever.


1) About octopuses being painted on people's walls

2) About 1960's wood panelling.

Two more days to go and then we hit the final week........

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fringe Day 17: Big Mess

If you ever hear me saying the phrase 'It's drink o'clock' again, please kindly put an arm round me and cart me away to somewhere safe as its clear what will happen next is not in my best interests. To prove a point, today's blog, at 3.45pm comes to you via some still very drunk fingers after an evening of boozy carnage where more mixing occurred than a DMC final. There were consequently moments of madness and drama that wouldn't have looked out of place of an episode of Dawson's Creek where I able to use as complicated words as those 'teenagers' did, and I, for the first time of the fringe, have no real idea how I got home. Awesome work the Douieb. As a result though, I'm really not sure how today will pan out. I have about 4 shows to do and wanted to go see somethings too, but as it is, I'm typing this whilst still in bed with little possibility of further movement for some time. I don't think I've ever blogged in bed before. Its quite nice and it may need to happen again at some stage. Bedlog. Oh dear. I should really not type very much as I can only assume I'll read it back at a later stage and feel disappointed that anyone even let me near an internet vestibule whilst like this. So here, instead, are some quick notes:

- Yesterday's audience were a total 5* bunch of greatness. Despite the four very stoned dudes at the front (one left, one kept his head firmly in his hands as though he was going to be sick the whole time), it was more than made up for by the rest of the busy crowd. My favourite row where the Byrne family who were ace. I look forward to the annual Byrne family show visit and this year they were as awesome as usual. Even more so because they got rid of their pre-paid Arj Barker tickets to see my show instead. Hurrah!

- Comedy 4 Kids yesterday was not the easiest show, due to a smaller crowd as Scottish schools went back. However it was more than made up for by a small girl telling me she lived in space. When I enquired which bit of space, she shouted 'Lincolnshire'. I always knew people of Lincolnshire were a tad alien.

There's more, probably, but my brain is really not co-operating. I'm going to find things that will soak up the booze in my head. I may try eating a sponge. Sigh. Night in tonight. Maybe.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fringe Day 16: Recharging A Dead Battery

I'VE HAD SOME SLEEP! WOOHOO! 9 whole frikkin' hours of pure undiluted snoozery filled with some severely mad cap dreams and quite possibly some classic old school snoring (I wouldn't know, I was asleep). Batteries recharged? Feeling like I could leap over lampposts? Er......no. Just more sleepy now. Stupid sleep. I did lots of things yesterday to ensure I'd feel a tad rested today, like eating well and even getting a backrub from the excellent Marissa (masseuse extraordinaire) because my shoulder's currently feel like someone's padded them out with lumps of wood. This is quite cool in a hard man sort of way and I'd like to think I could probably break someone's face on them if I needed to, but I wouldn't be able to move my arms around properly to get them there in the first place. Then I only had two pints (Edinburgh equivalent of no drinks), and went home via a filth stop to get some chips and cheese. Chips and cheese should be listed on menus as just 'Fat' or 'Heart Attack for One'. I like it, but at the same time can never get too far into it without the realisation of what I'm eating, feel a tad retchy and just put it in the bin. Yesterday I achieved two thirds of the box. Yes yes there are children starving in Third World countries, but trust me, they would not want chips and cheese. It is definitely the cuisine of the pig. Even then, pigs would probably only 3/4 through a box before feeling like they'd need some sort of defibrillator to survive the rest. If someone used a defibrillator on a pig, would they smell of bacon for days after? So many thoughts so little time.

So after all that, I should feel like I'm cool talkin', fast walkin', ever givin' and cool fizzin', yet instead I'm clutching my cup of tea as though its my last bastion of hope and I'm fairly sure that if my Bedinburgh had a phone, it would call me to ask me to come back. It would be a slightly odd chat to speak to my bed on the phone. I'm guessing it'd mostly be pillow talk. Arf! Boom! Sigh. Oh. Maybe I need more chilled days? It might be like when you charge a phone but not all the way and so it scowls at you with its lack of energy and just dies even quicker. Who knows? Well not me. I will see how the willpower maintains itself. I forsee some failure fairly soon. Only one week and two days to go Douieb, don't die before the end....

In other news:

- My iPod has died. iTunes said it was corrupted. This makes me sad as I tried my best to bring it up right and teach it all the rights and wrongs. I never put any total dogshit tunes on there unless it was for a show, I only ever filled it with ace stuff. Yet, somewhere along the way, it went astray. I wonder if its downloading too many illegal tracks and somehow they've convinced it to sell drugs and shoot people, or whatever it is corrupt iPods do. I won't survive for long without it. Already the sound of actual things as I'm walking along is making me go insane. I don't know how people with naked ears do it. Yesterday I heard a woman scream at her kid and then some man boast about punching people in a toilet at Subway. I preferred these people when they were miming to The Leisure Society. The world is a much nicer place with a soundtrack. FACT.

- Being stupidly fickle, the fringe is now all ok thanks to this rather lovely review:


Last night's show was tough and had press in who I'm sure will spool vitriol onto the page like typed hate, but until then I'm feeling positive about it all again which is nice. That tiny bit of gratification should last until at least the weekend when I'll crash again and hate everyone. FACT.

- Guest Who? At the Underbelly is superb superb fun. You should go. I was the guest yesterday and they improvised entirely based on stories I had told, which in turn, were based on words the audience had said. I had sort of thought of some beforehand but the words 'mango', 'betrayal' and 'sharks' meant I told three completely different tales that I'm not sure where in my brain they had been lurking. All the scenes were excellent but my favourites included an improv about the nuances of saying you are an axe murderer and a rather freaky scene about killing chickens. Go see.

- Yesterday at Comedy 4 Kids a small boy called Arley told me he had already checked the room for ghosts and there weren't any. I can't tell you how pleased I am with this. He then explained he had two guinea pigs called Night Fury and Deserts. These are by far the best names for any pets ever. Arley for King please.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fringe Day 15: Night of The Turbo Crab

They didn't see it coming. Someone should've warned them. Someone should have prepared. The fringe that never sleeps just got a wake up call. From the depths of Brookes bar a vicious beast emerged and swept through the hordes eliminating all possibility of an early night and damaging throats and dignity in one fell swoop. Even man giants such as the Greg Davies fell in its path and those who thrive mostly on liquids being from the Welshlands like Rhod were not able to resist its lure. What did this I hear you cry? Surely nothing is capable of such destruction? It must be the stuff of myth? That's ancient myth, not a young lady with a lisp. No, this monster exists and its name be.....TURBO CRAB!

Who did this? Who made the Turbo Crab? What evil denizen of the underworld, what batshit mad scientist of hell would create such a horror? The culprit, a man no one would suspect with his cleaner than clean face and more charm than a Gypsy's trinket stall. Yes, none other than Stuart Goldsmith. Under the guise of a 'Reasonable Man', Goldsmith is the sort of rogue that would make Stalin look like a salesman for happy times. I don't know what this means. The mere suggestion of mixing a Crabbie's ginger beer and a Smirnoff Ice in a single pint glass was at first mocked, laughed at. How on earth could mixing the prime ingredients of a teenager's binge drinking sessions lend itself to an adult environment? Would we all end up pulling behind the bins? Would someone be sick in a handbag? No. Instead, the two combined powers forge a drink that's tastiness was previously unbeknownst to mankind. And so it began with Stu passing on his pint to taste and I became hooked. One by one people heard the news and TURBO CRAB spread round the Brookes bar quicker than the mutant STD it sounds like. Before anyone knew what had happened I had unwillingly become a crab carrier, racing round all clientele and even the bar staff to make them try such a drink. It was veritable magic potion and as the glass hit each of their lips, they were hooked. Meanwhile, like a shiny Doctor Doom of mirth, Stu quietly watched the mayhem unfold.

To be fair I should've always known not to trust a man who's friend, Vince, last night used the phrase, in response to me asking what he does, as 'you know, the usual: unicycling, juggling and that.' This has never been the usual. Ever. Yet it was said with such a laissez fare attitude that I could not help but pass it off as entirely being the usual and nothing more. It was only later, several turbo crabs in, that it dawned on me that this man's life must be so exciting if that is the benchmark of normality. I assume a wild night would need to include actual dragons and swords for it to be anything other than tedious. I would like my usual to be of such a high level. As it is, its mostly just 'do a gig, have a drink'. Somewhere, somehow, I need to up this ante so I can start saying responding to people asking about what I do with my life as something better. 'You know. The usual: training gorillas in ninjitsu and punching sharks in their stupid shark faces.' Ah the dream.

Another 6am hometime and oddly I feel much better today than I did yesterday. The wall is gone and I've decided I don't care anymore. This is partly down to buying a notepad with sharks on it. Not real ones. That'd make it hard to write. No. Just pictures of sharks with their stupid shark faces. I have genuinely been trying my best all day to not write 'Fin' at the end of every page for my own enjoyment. So that, and I think the only other explanation for today's feel good vibe must be the TURBO CRAB. I may have to fuel myself on such goodness for the rest of the fringe. Or actually go home and sleep tonight. That might work too. Sleep schmeep. Turbo Crab, TURBO CRAB! TURBO CRAB! TURBO CRAB! *dies*

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fringe Day 14: Back To The Grind

Its an odd thing, but after having looked forward to my day off pretty much since the fringe started, I've now had it and I'm worried its been detrimental rather than useful. Prior to that, I had momentum. I was a veritable office desk toy of comedy. Tap me and I shall swing. I don't know what that means. What I'm trying to say is that I was - as we in the industry like to call it (I use the term industry loosely. This is mostly because I don't want to anger any Luddites) - gig fit. This is when you gig so much you can walk onstage without any prior thought and slam dunk the funnies like weird basketball player who unfairly treats village idiots. Or something. But today, after a truly excellent day off, I just feel all a bit tired and much like I want to have another day off please. This is not great. Somehow I need the energy and care back as the next bit of the Fringe is the longest run. Like the post Christmas term at school. Only with less colouring in. 13 shows left and no more breaks. Unless I physically break something. Which I may do if I really want a day off. It would definitely ensure that as there's no way of getting in my cave if your legs don't work. Hmmm. This might be a plan......

Yesterday was so much fun. If there was a way just to do all that again I'd be very pleased. The day bit was spent with my friend Laura and we decided that we would stroll 3 miles to Portobello beach to the east of Edinburgh. Though the walking was initially because Laura has some sort of odd issue with getting freaked out about buses - the Laura on the bus goes 'aaaaarrrgghhh aaaarggghhh arrrrrgh'. Its not as catchy as the usual verses - but it turned out it was the nicest thing to do. I love walking. You see loads of stuff you don't normally get a chance to see, such as really beautiful bits of the city we wouldn't have stumbled on otherwise, and also odd stuff that Laura noticed such as grow bags on a roof that looked like dead cats and Mo Ratterace:

I refuse to explain this on account of the fact that it will undoubtedly not be funny when explained.

After much idle wandering we made it to the beach. I love the sea. I'm really bloody pleased it exists. I mean if it didn't fish would be pretty pissed off. Boats would to. And it'd probably make divvying up country borderlines a tad harder too. But excluding those things, I'm glad it exists as I think there is very little like calming the soul just watching the sea. I would happily do it for hours but eventually the tide would come in and I'd probably drown and that would be bad. No intention of getting in it, as its full of sharks and leviathans and stuff like that, but just watching it lap back and forth on the beach with no one flyering or telling me how their show has gone, was the best thing in the world. Admittedly if someone had have been flyering there, I'd have been mightily impressed. Mostly with their dedication and severe lack of understanding that flyering that far away from the fringe would be a huge waste of time. Then there was homemade ginger beer, banofee pie, a small Amy Pond made with kitchen roll and serviettes by Laura, a funpark that had an absolute vacuum of fun and a crossword (not 'Hate!' as that is also a crossword. BOOM!). Then to mix everything up we decided that having been at sea level we would walk as high above sea level as possible and headed up Arthur's Seat to witness the wild roaming haggis and views of Edinburgh whilst easting marmite sandwiches and having to stop to get breath back from laughing everytime one of us nearly fell over. Much much better than the usual Fringe highs and lows.

Amy Sp(o)ond

I then slightly ruined all the chilling I managed to do by heading out listening to Rage Against the Machine, drinking loads of beer, getting obnoxious about a quiz based around ping pong and a pervert host who should never be allowed near women again, and then more beer and an excellent excellent Full Mooners. Then more beer. And more. And at 6am I suddenly realised I hadn't really rested at all. Brilliant. Well done dickbag. So what I need is another day off please. Can someone sort that out please? Thanks very much. And no, I'd prefer not to break anything if possible. Unless its dancing. Or a car's motion. Thanks thanks I'm here all week. Sigh. Clearly actually stopped the comedy office toy. I will wander round Edinburgh asking someone to gently tap my head to get me back in motion. I will regret this after the first go. FACT.

Oh and my legs hurt. Stupid walking. Maybe I should break one, then I'd get a wheelchair too. This is seeming more and more appealing by the minute......

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fringe Day 13: Like A Pair Of Pants

Its my day off today so I'm gonna keep this blog brief, like a pair of pants. (Regular blog readers from some months back may have missed that phrase. Well fear not, I fully intend to bring it back into the vernacular). So here is just a few notes about the last day or so, then tomorrow usual blogging shall resume. Sorry for any inconvenience. Let's roll:

- The comedians vs critics football game was easily the most fun I've had all fringe. This is not just because WE ONLY WENT AND FUCKING WON! 3-2 to the comedians! 3-2 tooo the comediaaaaannssss! 3-2! 3-2! I didn't score any of those goals of course, but I did do a fair bit of running around and didn't die once. At the end I even did a slide tackle that was possibly the best football related thing I've ever done in my life ever. I even scraped my left shin whilst doing it. The whole afternoon started with some worry when myself, Keith Farnan, and Eric Lampaert were 3 of only 5 comics there, compared to the 25 odd critics (and they were odd. Tee hee), and so much discussion about being the 300 of football teams occurred. I was revving up to shout 'THIS IS SPAAARTAAAA' and kick one of them down a well when our awesome team captain Rob Rouse appeared and cheered the proceedings up by explaining that whilst he was no good at football he was very good at ruffling hair and patting bottoms and therefore that's what would happen whenever anyone scored. He was good to his word too. The critics team were good sports and the comics played their comedy socks off in the glorious sun. Much much fun. And I got to have a go on a vuvuzela. What more could you ask for? How about doing it all for a good cause - Amnesty International's Free Zarganar campaign - and winning a tiny plastic medal and champagne that ended up mostly in my hair? Well tick those boxes my friend, for it was a morning of aceness. Sadly now today, my right leg and back has decided I am a twat and deserve punishment for yesterday's fun and I shall spend today walking like Limpy McLimperson.


- Other things from the football match to note:

I can't do handstands anymore. Joel Dommett still can.

Tim Arthur has promised me I will get an official Time Out quite saying 'Shins Of Steel' soon. I will put this on all my posters till the end of time. Even though it doesn't say anything about my comedy whatsoever. FACT.

Some people are actually very musical with vuvuzelas. I am not one of them. Neither is Rob Rouse.

Keith Farnan gets angry when people take too many pictures. I think he still believes they steal your soul. He is from Cork after all.


- The quiz with Farno face was much much fun. Top points to Scott Wanker who were the team that won overall. No points to all the people who boo'd the T-Quiz round of nonsense. Just because the questions and answers don't make sense doesn't mean you should get angry.

- The Penny Dreadfuls show is bloody brilliant.

- Compared the Late Show last night. Much fun though there were too many people called Adam in. I think I had drunk too much and decided it would be funny to say 'Adam Adam Adam Adam Adam' repeatedly as though it were a theme tune to something. The audience disagreed. I stopped and did actual jokes.

- Being kissed by Jim Jeffries is one of my least favourite things ever. FACT.

- Being tickled by Shaun Weager is almost as bad.

- Finding a teddy bear in the Loft Bar that you love and then having it taken away from you is worse than both of those things.

- All three of the above suggest why I probably shouldn't be allowed in the Loft Bar ever again.

- Bloody love being given random Kinder Eggs by people. And Finnish chocolate. Its like a group attempt to kill a diabetic, but its brilliant.

Right, I'm sure there's more but I'm going to kick comedy in the face and bloody well enjoy my day off. Expect an excited and over rested blog tomorrow. BYE.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fringe Day 12: Three Lions and One Small Bear

I'm typing today's blog wearing shorts, a tshirt and my trainers. This much information may already be way too much for some of you to handle and I'd like to apologise for the lack of warning about a possible sexytime blog. More likely however, several of you are sitting there thinking 'Douieb you cad, its Edinburgh, when should anyone ever wear shorts in the arctic capital of arcticness?' Well, query masters, the answer is: when you are about to go and play as part of the comedians team in the Comedians vs Critics football match organised by Amnesty International. Football? Moi? Surely those two things go together as well as fire and someone's face? Well, yes. You are right again. God you're good today. Luckily there shall be no faces on fire to compere my day to today, so it will merely be one small beardy man struggling to ever get the ball for 45 minutes and when he does, persist in kicking it massively in the wrong direction as hard as he possibly can. I've never been very good at football, seemingly having the foot-eye co-ordination of someone with no feet. Or eyes. This became evident fairly quickly at a young age, where as we would queue up to be picked for certain teams, whoever was left with me as last in the line alongside the truly stupid/slow/fat/dead kids, would insist on sighing very loudly and trying to pick one of the others first despite knowing they would be too busy picking their nose and eating it to ever chase a football. This was a suitable team mate than me, who would run around occasionally kicking someone's shin and then booting the ball over a fence. I'm like the soccer Tazmanian Devil. Or something.

This afternoon should be fun though, as if I'm gonna kick in anyone's shins, at least it'll be a critic's. The game is also taking place at the Meadowbank stadium which I'm fairly sure will be pretty hard to boot the ball over. I mean, if I do, then I'll probably deserve some kudos rather than dismay. Maybe. Its also all for a very very good cause - the freedom of Burmese comic Zarganar, who is imprisoned for 35 years because he spoke out against the Burmese government. Its odd when you realise how lucky we are that freedom of speech is a given in the UK. Its a truly horrible breach of human rights that Zarganar has been treated like this and Amnesty are currently campaigning on his behalf. I now feel slightly guilty for offering my services today as its possible I could just make this game worse and cause the poor man to spin in his cell. Fingers crossed.

If you are around today and want to come and watch then more info about the campaign and the game are all on this page:


Oh and as a last note, I'm now over the wall. Its amazing how fickle life as a comedian can be. A few things sorted me out yesterday including a kermit the frog film on TV, doing this:

....having the nicest gig ever ever in the world with the bestest audience, eating a curry and having some sleep. I think I'm not ok with being at the fringe. We'll just have to make sure every day includes all of those things. I'm off to go kick it wide like the fat man it is.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fringe Day 11: THE WALL

I thought it would happen earlier but no, it hit yesterday, on all days, Friday the frikkin' 13th. I have officially hit the wall. I honestly couldn't care less today if the fringe blew up or fell over or set fire to its face. I've had enough already. This fringe is too long. Its so long its essentially not a fringe anymore, just er, a long hairdo. Hmm. Should edit that out. EXCEPT I WON'T BECAUSE I DON'T CARE. A combination of events yesterday have turned Monday's cracks into a full on mind spazz of delirium. I mean why is this a whole month? It shouldn't be. A week would be fine. In a week you'd have a nice time, enjoy doing your show and generally have fun. A month though? That's a whole advent calender of misery. After a month of working every single day everything just becomes proper cabin fever. You know, when people are allergic to tiny wooden shacks. Saying the same words every night, mingling with the same people, drinking and eating in the same places. I'm fully expecting, any moment now, a groundhog to appear and Bill Murray to pull a funny face. I'm sitting with my hoodie's hood up, in my PJs, fully intending to sit out today in my bed. Take that the fringe.

Some of yesterday was uber fun including catching up with the ever awesome Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly chaps for some boozing, the excellent Improvaganza at the C Venues and someone telling me after my show 'interesting, very good vocabulary, well done' which is the weirdest compliment I've ever had. There was also some awesome tapas ventures and a seeing the very very excellent 'Laura' at the Hive (go see it, its a brilliant play and its FREE!). But this was side swiped by the first review of my show to appear. Don't get me wrong. Its a great review. Brilliant infact and I couldn't be happier. Except that its only 3 stars which means nothing can be added to posters or flyers. Here's the review:


I promised myself I wouldn't look for reviews but I got bored. Boredom is dangerous and has, in the past, been responsible for me burning myself with a lighter and making a small dinosaur out of tinfoil. So all in all, reading a review is not too bad a result. As I said though, I should be pretty pleased with that review if it wasn't for the bloody stars. Stars eh? Every year, the stars cause issue. Who needs stars eh? Except maybe the universe. But that's allowed. And Stars In Their Eyes. Without stars that program might be a tad redundant. But other than those, and Milky Way Stars, they are bloody pointless. I'm going to find a star and punch it. Sigh.

That review combined with other stuff and fringe mental means that surely after today, things can only get a tad better. The wall is important, because much like a marathon, after you pass it, you can carry on forever. Although forever would be far far too long and sadly unlike a marathon, at the end of the fringe, no one wraps you in a warm silver blanket and hugs you a bit. Or gives you free lucozade. Actually, as a diabetic, the lucozade is not helpful. Just the blanket please.

I'm off to walk round Edinburgh kicking things. ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH. Two more weeks to go. It's fully possible by next week I'll be sectioned.......

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fringe Day 10: Unlucky For Some

Ooooooh it's Friday the 13th. Scary stuff, if you're superstitious that is. Superstitious is the shittest of all superheros. 'I am Superstitious! Beware my incredible abilities of being scared of black cats and ladders!' Useless. I'm not superstitious. Much. I mean if I was to walk around today and suddenly my entire street was filled with ladders and black cats as though there was some sort of feline builder collective planning such things and it happened to be today, I may be a tad worried. However, glancing out my window, I can't see any of those things. I can see a cat. He's not black. But he may have painted himself as a disguise. Cats are sneaky like that. Either way he doesn't appear to be crossing anyone's paths as it would mostly involve him getting run over. I should be safe. Unless he's painted himself and is carrying a pocket ladder. Oh jesus I've worried myself a bit now. I might not leave the flat today. If there was anyway to broadcast my show this evening I would.

Seriously though I in no way suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia. This is mostly because I am paranoid most days and can't be arsed to harness a special set of paranoia into one ball of fear today. Its a stupid belief anyway that goes back to the Christians destroying pagan beliefs that 13 was a lucky number. All witches covens had 12 witches and a head witch. Even Jesus had 12 apostles and him, which equals 13. Then Christianity said 'oh no no you can't be walking around having sex and setting fire to things. 13 must now be unlucky along with all of your beliefs.' I mean, I am paraphrasing. Which is like paragliding. Only with words. Its not like paratrooping. Or para-Olympics. I like to think that paratrooping is where soldiers can only walk in parallel lines to each other at all times. This would make wars pretty even if nothing else. Well sort of even. Sigh.

So I am very much planning to treat today like every other day. Except Darren. He's a dick and will get treated improperly. Take that Friday 13th. I'm going to make no changes to survive it. I may even set up certain hazards and walk around with my own ladder and a mirror and paint the cat across the road black again and carry it round. I'm a superstition maverick.

Couple of other things:

- Show 8: Audience Rating - 4 stars but very nearly 3. Toughest crowd yet. Refusal to like any edgier gags let them down a bit, could try harder. Felt they had a clear idea of what they wanted and yet couldn't quite realise it in their vocal performance. Extra star is given for the awesome Tara Flynn being there. Go see her excellent show. As for the crowd, I wouldn't rush to catch them at this fringe, but for your money's worth you could do far worse.

- The new Pleasance Dome game of performance dancing onto any empty table is quite possibly the best game invented yet. Take that Brazil Brazil. Brazil Braschmil more like.

- It was decided by myself and the K-Hizzle that this is the best website ever: www.teaandkittens.co.uk

- Yesterday I saw Jason Cook's show at the Stand 3 and Helen Arney's show at the Caves. They are both properly properly excellent. I couldn't recommend them highly enough.

Longer blog tomorrow. If I survive today........

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fringe Day 9: Fully Booked

Its very difficult to kill time in Edinburgh. This is not just because its a concept and destroying it would annoy a lot of people. For a start there'd be no more birthdays, people would be late for everything and Doctor Who would be a tad pointless. Saying that, people also wouldn't age and in fact it'd be impossible to be late for anything as time wouldn't exist. And the Doctor might actually get some rest time for once. Well not rest 'time'. Just rest whatever would be left. Bloody hell. I hope no one does kill time. Things'd get pretty complex. Anyway what I meant is that on most days at the fringe I have from whenever I get up to my show at 9.20 to fill an empty void of nothingness. Over the last week I have spread my minutes between meeting friends, going insane in the Cow Cafe and occasionally seeing other shows. Sometimes I've just sat around, but this is dangerous as it means I spend far too much time thinking and thinking generally leads to me trying to climb something or seeing if I am able to cutlery. So for my own health and safety its best I go do things.

Yesterday, whilst sitting around doing nothing, the thought occurred to me that despite however much I'm enjoying this fringe, we still have just over two weeks left of it. That thought penetrated my mind and sent tiny shockwaves of despair throughout my being like an electric shock, but not a bad one. Just the little one you get when you go into Top Man and you hold the metal stair banister and it zaps you. Similar to that, it doesn't really hurt but it does set off various alarms as though tiny warnings that you are about to look at a whole load of clothes only realising none of them suit or fit you because you are old old old. Well this was like that. Only different. Completely different. What this was was a sudden urge to escape the fringe temporarily and so I raced down Princes Street, into Waterstones and bought myself some books. BOOM. Check me out Captain Intellectualisamasationalism. I thought if I can't physically escape the fringe, I may as well mentally try. Now I'm not a big reader. Not just because I'm only 5'5". Nor because I don't read giant books. No, its usually just 'cos I'm too busy doing things to read stuff. I want to change this though as there is nothing better than getting into a good book. Not literally. I mean unless it was a giant book, it'd be pretty hard and we've already noted that I don't read those. But I couldn't have sorted myself out more yesterday than by taking one of my new books to a comfy sofa in Brookes Bar and reading in the quiet for a couple of hours. For a while I was in Glenn David Gold's 'Sunnyside' immersed in the 1940's America and completely chilled.Then loads of comics turned up and where all noisey which gave me a 'kick' worse than in Inception and I gave up and left. Still it was nice while it lasted.

More reading shall happen today. Books I mean. Not just, you know, words and signs and stuff. Because if you count those then everyone is a big reader and that's cheating. Although if anyone wants to have a competition about it then I'd like to point out I've read a lot of menus and signs since being here and so have probably won. I've also read peoples responses, a few emails and had some b-read. The last one is so tenuous. Sigh.

Some more book related things:

- Yesterday I saw Celebrity Autobiography. Micheal Uri is bloody amazing. They all were to be fair, with a rather stellar cast of Tiffany Stevenson, George Went, James Lance, Bridget Christie and some other people I haven't got a clue about. But Michael Uri stole it when reading Tommy Lee's autobiography. Brilliant show and a very novel idea. Novel. Geddit? Geddit? Sigh again.

- I also saw the excellent Jay Foreman's show. He doesn't have stuff about books in it. But there are words. Books have words. Therefore its all linked. Also a brilliant show and he has my favourite song about Sooty ever. Not that I've heard many. Or any. Except maybe Sue-Sue-Suedio by Phil Collins. Arf. Sigh. Triple Sigh. Shepherd's Sigh.

- Audience Rating for Show 7: 4 Stars. Generally very good but a few poorly timed laughs where they were slightly off the beat. Occasional wilting though I will put this down to the room as they were clearly keeping strong. Expect something very promising from them next year. One audience member was wearing a Bananaman tshirt and reacted well throughout. I suggest he embarks on a solo career as a punter if he's really serious about such things, as he'd clearly have a career in it.

- It is bloody funny adding 'izzle' to the ends of words all the time. Try it. Go on. Go onizzle. See? Ha. I'm Tiernanizzle Douiebizzle. Ha again. Ha times three.

- I didn't drink at all yesterday. Yet still managed to act like I was drunk and make possibly the worst statement I've ever made in my life to Rosie and Matt in the loft bar. I blame Paul Byrne. He gave me chocolate earlier in the evening. Choclotizzle makes me batshitizzle.

- I saw Matt Blair's first solo spot at the Fringe with his uke and a cheeky tune about a lady that don't look so nice up close. He was great. Its here if you wanna listen to it:


Oh and when I hold a ukelele it looks like a normal guitar. FACTIZZLE.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fringe Day 8: Super Friends


Yesterday me and Keith high fived at exactly the same time as Paul B and Mickey high fived. This is incredible because a) Paul B can't high five, b) it was not planned in anyway and c) somehow no one else saw. Keith says we are not super friends till we can all do an instinctive four way high five. I worry this would result in everyone watching and deciding we are not cool, but infact just girl guides. Its not the same.


There are certain reasons why an audience of kids is better than an audience of adults. One of these, is that no matter where you go, you will never get an adult audience where one of them insists they are called 'Ben 10', whilst wearing a cape and pretending to explode every few minutes. This tiny 4 year old boy, who's name he revealed as Andrew before deciding it was definitely Ben 10, would start a countdown before making tiny high pitched fact noises that meant he was exploding. I genuinely have never been quite so pleased with an audience member before. I am currently wondering on the implications of asking his mum if he can just sit in the corner of my evening show and explode every few minutes. I think I might be constantly upstaged but it'd be totally worth it.


Best audience yet. Big laughs, some well timed groans and generally bloody good. Even two people walking out before the show even started couldn't falter them. (They were in the wrong show, not just horrendously put off by the wrong ambiance).

5 stars. Savvy, attentive, warm. They managed to display all the top qualities of punters whilst never dipping in quality or their attempts appearing forced. Superb.


Scores so far:

Me - 1
Paul - 1
Draw - 1

To be continued....


My throat is twingy today. Twingy is not the fringe on Twitter. Its starting to get sore and this is the opposite of cool. Which I suppose would be hot. But its not that either. Its just pants. I had meant to go booze free yesterday but then had two pints. Two pints, in the scheme of things, is technically no booze. My throat however has disagreed and is threatening a Tom Waits style protest at me. This I fear would make my show creepier than it should be, though at the same time compliment my surroundings of being in a damp dark cave. I might spend today writing stories about gruesome trucker tales and Brothers Grimm like yarns then drink all the booze I can and scare the crap out of tonight's audience. Or not. Probably the latter.


I like noodles. FACT. I like them more when its been preceded by witnessing Danny and Eri aka Ginger and Black getting mobbed by tens of children as though they had been appraised for saving the youth centres in a 70's drama. This is unlikely to happen everytime I eat noodles though which makes me worry I may start enjoying them less.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fringe Day 7: The Cracks


The fringe is all ok now. Officially. I think Sunday needed to be bad so that we could enter the true spirit of going completely batshit crazy at being here for a whole month. It always happens at some point. Sometimes in week one, sometimes in week two, but whenever it does, its guaranteed that a moment will occur when you realise you are not getting home till September so you may as well lose your marbles and enjoy it. The first major cracks occured yesterday as I walked from my flat through the Meadows in the pouring rain without suitable rain attire. Water dripping off my face, my iPod ran out of battery and so I just started to loudly sing Radiohead songs to myself, and chuckle at the prospect of doing so. Then I walked past Tim Key, and he quizzically looked at me, singing and soaking and asked if I was ok. It was only at that point I realised what I was doing, that I was clearly still drunk and that despite all of this, I was indeed just fine. Broken. Get the white coats, the fringe madness has begun.


The usual signifier of fringe madness is when myself and Keith Farnan sit in the Cow Cafe for hours driving everyone else insane by talking nonsense. Last year this occurred for hours and days on end until we culminated with a special free show in the cafe on the last day called 'Darnan and Fouieb at the Cafe' where talked the same shit, but drunk and on a stage and people stared. People stared because it was properly just weird. Not funny. Weird. It was our public outlet for the verbal diaorehhea we spurt outside of our gigs. Yesterday was the first day this has happened this fringe. The official loony noise of Farnan and Douieb this year is this one:


Irritating as hell. For everyone else. Me and Keith love it. If you are in any way vulnerable during the Fringe please avoid the Cafe from about 2pm in the afternoon every single day. I also discovered that by imitating a poor Irish accent and saying 'diddly diddly' a lot, I can make Keith want to punch me. Score.


As Charlie Evans was leaving the bar last night, he dropped a bombshell on everyone and then pissed off. Its not fair to do what he did and he knows it, which is why I've decided he's a particularly conniving bastard. He got up, said cheerio and then said to us, 'how do you spell cash?' Now, I've spelt it as 'cash' there, but the word I mean is the short word for casual. He then disappeared and left a slightly drunk table full of despair. Certain ideas of 'cazh', 'kash', 'caszch' and various other versions appeared and Evans slightly rocked everyone's vocab word in a minute. Wanker.

This morning I told Luke about this and he just said completely care-free, 'its casz'. He wasn't at all flustered. I worry that I was less sober than I thought last night. Sigh.


Paul Byrne does not wind in his eyes (actual wind not gaseous emissions. Though I doubt he likes those in his eyes either), yet he is still adamant eye licking is ok. I feel this is hugely wrong.


Yesterday Tim Fitzhigham asked me, out of the blue, how much I weigh. Unnervingly unphased by this I told him. Somehow this now means he has decided he can cart me up Arthur's Seat in a child's trailer wagon as one of his many loony tasks. I have said yes because I'd had a beer. I will keep you posted, but this could all go so horribly wrong. I really must stop saying 'yes'.


The BBC Radio Scotland first aid chart is the most boring of all of them. (As noted by Luke Benson. And no, I'm not giving you anymore clues what this means. Read the picture and be observant. There. You got told.)


Last night's audience get four stars. Very good applause at the beginning and strong laughs throughout. Also benefitted from a lovely couple telling me at the end that they saw me last year. Bonus points. Sadly one star was lost by one man who didn't laugh as much as everyone else and let the side down. Spoiled it for everyone. Good potential for next year though. Definitely one to look out for in 2011.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fringe Day 6: Swings and Roundashits

Well it had to go wrong at some point didn't it? I mean surely the whole point of karma is if you are going to have several ace days in a row, it needs to come crashing down like a turd in the face with nails in it eventually doesn't it? I will note, right now, that I am being a bit of a drama queen with that statement, but today is generally one of those ones where I am considering spending entirely in bed. I like my bed in Edinburgh. My Bedinburgh as I've decided to call it. Its extremely comfy and thus far, when in it, I haven't had to put on any type of show or if I have, numbers haven't been an issue. Read into that what you will. In fact, don't. There really is nothing to read into. Essentially, yesterday, whilst filled with some nice bits (these shall be listed below shortly) contained several un-nice bits. The worst of these was that my show didn't happen. This was due to an entire lack of audience. Only one ticket was sold and while I could've put on a private performance, I didn't think that one punter would've wanted me to be his or her tiny dancer. So, consequently, I had a day off when I really didn't want a day off.

There is something so hugely disheartening about working on something for months and months and months and putting a lot of effort into it, only for no one to witness it. I know I'm going to lose a lot of money this year. I honestly don't expect any sell outs or awards or even necessarily anything to come from this fringe. All I want is to do my show for people. People, not person. I'm hoping it picks up again this evening or I'll start to consider just going home and reciting it infront of a mirror and saving my money.

My problem is, I really can't be miserable. I'm trying today. Really really trying. But so far trying has involved me telling Tom he's a 'garage' and various other things (this works by whenever he says something eg 'is that a garage', I respond with 'you're a garage'. This has escalated to him now being a 'panini' and 'not a Scottish Institution'). Also, I keep remembering that apart from the shitstorm of my lack of show, and a couple of other not nice things that shall be excluded from bloggery, yesterday was actually good. Here's some good thangs from Sunday:

- Turns out Keith Farnan and Tiernan Douieb's free pub quiz at the Cow Cafe on Sundays - or as we like to call it 'Have I Got Moos For You' - is the awesomest pub quiz ever, despite some very hard questions. It also turns out Keith can't do film noir and I can't do a spaghetti western. It shall happen again next week and if you're lucky I might do a dalek voice again.

- The Stand Late Show is excellent. I did a set. I think it went well. I was drunk. I really honestly don't know.

- I tried Red Eye, which is tomato juice in beer. Sounds wrong but totally works. It was all the Johansson's fault and I may now be a tad addicted. Though I will have to call it beermato juice. This and the peamar buttmite sandwiches state that this is a week for experimentation. I worry what will happen today. If anyone finds me drinking a smoothie with petrol in it, please stop me.

- Steph Ashford has made me a full bag of the awesomest food to keep me alive during Edinburgh. This is truly brilliant. I like food bags. Not the cellophane ones. Though they are handy for sandwich keeping. You can't eat them though. Or maybe you can. Uh oh. Experiment number three might involve choking on plastic.

- I kissed Michael Legge. Well only on the cheek. Take that how you will.

- Second day of Quiz In My Pants was much fun. Yesterday's had me improving a mating ritual that anywhere else could possibly get me sectioned. It is an awesome show and its free, so you should all go to the Dragonfly at 4.20 everyday to see it.

That is it. Brief blog today cos I'm going to have a walk and think about how to persuade people to come and see my show. I may just do it all in dalek voice. Or in my Bedinburgh. Or both. Experiment number 4 sorted. This is of course if I have a show to do. Sigh.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fringe Day 5: Johnny 5 Gigs and Audience Reviews 1


I went for a run again this morning. This is mostly thanks to the fact that last night I actually slept. Yep. Really really slept. I drank no booze yesterday and then had a sleep. You may as well hit the reset button on my brain because I am brand spanking like new today. I am not wearing brands though and most certainly will no one get spanked. Instead I am just going to eat real food, like stuff that hasn't been entirely immersed in oil as though to suggest it was pulled straight out of the Gulf of Mexico and thrown straight into a pan. I'm also considering not drinking again today, but as I'm hosting a show with Keith Farnan tonight at the Cow Cafe and we are only getting paid in booze, I see this could be a huge problem. Well its the thought that counts isn't it? Unfortunately my thoughts only count up to 5 and then think about booze. Hmm. I might have a problem.

Anyway, I realised the problem of going for a run in Edinburgh. In London when I run, no one knows who I am and I don't care who witnesses my legs flailing around like a cat caught on a ceiling fan, while I huff and puff harder than a big bad wolf with asthma. In Edinburgh though, its a bit smaller and there's an awful lot of people I know around. Today, I ran past Josie Long and Mark Watson. They have both now seen the malco run and I had that awful moment of self awareness that said 'I probably look like a twat'. Its amazing how concious you can be about being healthy, yet if either of them had seen me wolfing down a bag of chips or a large ice cream by the fistful I'd have been fine about it. Either I need to stop caring who sees me run, or start running while eating chips. Or just eat chips. Hmm that last one sounds good. Tonight = booze and chips.


You learn certain things about your friends when you live with them that you didn't know before. I've learnt for example that Luke makes a great cuppa, that Danny will never finish a show by the time Edinburgh starts, that Nat actually like the 3rd Mummy film and then there's Tom. Tom has a bizarre kleptomaniac need to steal things from the bathroom and put them in his room and likes to walk around in his pants making strange gestures in order to freak people out. These gestures involved pulling his pants up as high as possible and gurning or, as he did yesterday, sneaking up behind me trying to kiss my ear. I'm assuming these are 'hilarious' pranks and not some sort of attempt at a mating ritual but either way I'm going to get a lock on my bedroom door as of tonight. Actually to be honest, I'm oddly unphased by his strangeness, but this worries me as I'm not sure what he'll do to up the anti-next. I'm so getting a lock on my bedroom door.


Yesterday I did five shows. Its my fault for being a stupid 'Yes' man and not saying 'no fuck off' instead. Luckily all five were ace. You've read about the radio show yesterday so here's an uber quick run down of the other four:

Gig 2: Quiz In My Pants - This is a lovely afternoon free quiz show gig run by Laura Lexx, Nicola Bolsover and Dan Carter-Hope which mostly involves everyone, including the two guest comics, wearing pants, answering mad questions and doing various bonkers things. Yesterday the guests were myself and the excellent Jay Foreman and highlights included the audience nearly getting more points than both teams, Laura finding a fellow IBS sufferer who cheered about having it, and the discovery that no one really knows who all the Backstreet Boys are. I'm doing it again today so you should bloody well come along. To entice you, here's a picture of me in my pants. Warning, its seriously sexy time pictures and its not for the faint of heart:

Gig 3: For 21 Nights Only at the White Horse - Another free one, which was much fun. It was all made better by a man who worked for BP being in the audience and when someone knocked over their beer, he was unable to deal with the spill. Aces. Top compereing from Ben Van Der Velde, and lovely sets from Rhys Jones and Carly Smallman too.

Gig 4: My show. See below for more info on this, but overall it was a lovely lovely show despite four people who didn't enjoy it but thankfully left.

Gig 5: PBH and Some Other Comedians at the Cannon's Gait. Ace show to finish the night on, not least because the PBH insists on bringing each act on to the audience singing a piece of classical music. You know they'll be lovely when they can do the ending of Pachabel's Canon. Evening was made better by someone telling me after about their friend in Brighton who did their insulin whilst under a bridge and was arrested by police for being suspected of taking drugs. Brilliant.


As of today I will be putting audience ratings of each night's show in these blogs. Edinburgh always seems to be about the act getting judged so I am turning the tables on such things and judging each of you every night. If you were in the audience, feel free to take the ratings to other shows and use the quotes to ensure you get better seats and are respected or hated by the acts depending on how you acted during my show. This may well affect your career as an audience member after the show, but it could also ensure you have a long and happy life as a top punter and could even win the Edinburgh Festival Award for Best Laugher. So backdating to Thursday:

Show 1: 5 stars. That's right. First night they combined a healthy dose of laughing with a willingness to not groan at the bad jokes and yet a sensible quietness through the longer story bits. They were nearly let down by one person getting up to wee halfway through, but successfully regained their composure on her return without much fuss. Recommended.

Show 2: 4 stars. I was going to give this group 3 on account of how they were perfectly nice but smiled rather than laughed at certain bits. I felt that whilst the potential was there they never really lived up to their hype, but managed to maintain a steady attention span and the occasional loud guffaw that kept me reassured they were infact all ok. This was boosted to a 4 star by the instant gratification of some nice twitter messages afterwards which shows they were nicer than they let on. They clearly just had communication issues and hopefully this is something they can work through at different shows.

Show 3: 5 stars. Sorry Thursday but this was my favourite audience yet and I'd highly push you to let them into any show. Despite some grumbles with a few people who weren't enjoying it, the audience overcame this problem by telling them to leave and eventually pushing them out and leaving merely the creme de la creme of audience types. Well timed laughs, the occasional ;'aaah' and one fully acceptable groan. These guys have the potential to win Britain's Got Audience.

Tonight's audience review will be up tomorrow.

Four shows to do today but first a fat filthy breakfast. I hope Josie and Mark witness me eating it just incase they now think I'm some sort of running dick.