Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Lessons learned at the Edinburgh Fringe
Jokes about rape, fisting and paedophilia are a bit clichéd these days. Several young, quite competent stand-ups plunged into the filth for their laughs, and it quickly became tiresome. Because while it may be fun to construct a line about, say, a girl being double-teamed by a goat and panther, it's not really "edgy" any more. As I watched these comics I realised how naively hacky a lot of my Grey Bloke scripts have been, and that I need to work much harder on my writing in future...
I also came up with a game to play during stand-up sets by male comics: Count the seconds until he alludes to his penis. It doesn't usually take long.
On the other hand, Mr Stewart Lee, Mr Jamie Kilstein, Mr Simon Munnery and Ms Bridget Christie (who is also Mrs Stewart Lee) managed to perform sixty minute shows without a single genital reference - and were hilariously funny throughout. I didn't get to see Mr Richard Herring because I cunningly lost my ticket to his show.
My Grey Bloke cartoon about Carol Thatcher was included in Ava Vidal's "Minority Report" show, so I got to see that with an audience for the first time. Turns out it's excruciatingly slow, with nary a titter until two minutes in - though the one laugh it got then was gratifying.
Best non-stand-up thing I saw: Mercy Madonna Of Malawi. That's Madonna in the picture above.