LF I think we should have an award for shite, cos you can tell the quality of a festival by the way that it treats its own shite.

AB You mean a shitlist.

LF Just to say, ’this is unadulterated shite and it’s magic, well done you for being so shite’.

The List Have you seen any good shows at the Festival? LF Americana Absurdum I thought was really bizarre and clever, they used comedy in a way that was really interesting. The show is just so packed with jokes l was sitting watching it going, ’shut up, stop laughing I want to hear it’. RN I went to Truck Fest. the monster truck extravaganza. PM And how did it compare to last year’s Truck Fest?

RN More corporate.

MM Has anyone seen Puppetry Of The Penis?

RN I have and it’s great. I saw it in Australia, and then I took the girlfriend to see it here.

TF Romantic night out then. RN Yeah, what I love about it is that they’re two full-on Aussie guys who basically just play with themselves on stage. They do a brilliant Loch Ness Monster impression.

LF I’m just not into that. There’s so much of that, there should be a new category in the Fringe Programme which is just ’Penis Showing’. I’m not big on the penis show, I don’t think it’s a big talent having a penis.

TF The League Against Tedium, you can’t beat that, it’s extraordinary. He should just lose the entire special effects thing that he’s got going on, cos his writing’s just incredible.

LF Actually, I get to the point during the Festival where I think it should just all dissolve up someone’s arse. I was back in Cumbernauld on Tuesday and people there are frantically not giving a fuck about whatever we’re doing. It’s dead easy to believe that the whole world is here and it's not.

PM We go back to Ireland and no one’s heard of us. They're all like, ’Perrier nominated, what’s that?’

JC The coverage this year has been really small. Going through the national papers today, it’s like one page here


and there, oh, and there’s some ballet and that’s your lot.

AB Well they’re looking for angles now. The sad people at The List and all these other journalists are looking for angles.

MM (There now follows a highly unsubt/e change of subject) What’s the next topic? Famous people that have been in your audience this Festival? Do you want me to start the ball rolling? Douglas Hurd.

RN I’ll take your Douglas Hurd and I’ll raise you a Melvyn Hayes. Subliminally I’m thinking, ’don’t talk to him, don’t look at him’, but at one point, cos my room is ridiculously hot, I actually said, ’ooh it ain't half hot, erm, in here tonight’.

PM But he’s not at all camp in real life, he’s quite butch isn’t he?

MM I used to write adverts for radio and I got him in specifically to do that voice. He was reading it in a normal voice, and I said, ’is there any chance you could do it like in the, erm . . .’ and he came back over the microphone and said, ’you want the poofy voice do you?’ He was furious, going, ’I am an actor!’

JC We had Hugh Laurie three years ago.

TF That was the weirdest thing cos the audience watched Hugh Laurie watching us, it was bizarre. MM Like, if he laughs then it must be funny.

RN Not in Edinburgh, but I’ve had one of the guys from ZZ Top turn up at my show.

PM Was his brother not there? How did you know it was him without his brother? RN I met him and he went, ’anytime you wanna come see one of our shows and hang out With the guys, come along,’ and l was like, ’wayheyl’ I’ve also had Neil Morrissey turn up pissed and stagger across the stage looking for the toilets.

TF We had Roy Hattersley in, who laughed once.

RN I once got heckled by Geoff Banks. PM We had the drummer from Ash.

RN Hey that’s good, I’m impressed with that.

MM You’re all

pissing on Douglas Hurd, I wish I hadn’t started this, I feel like such a fool.

A8 I had Neville Chamberlain, he came twice actually. No, but at the Comic Strip in the 805, the guy who put the money up knew everyone, so one night I looked out and there was Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman and Bianca Jagger. RN Fucking hell.

A8 I went to the toilet and Dustin Hoffman’s coming towards me so I said, ’what do you think is the difference between London comedy and New York comedy?’ and he just said, ’comedy’s important’.

LF We had a waitress in an Italian restaurant last night who I’m sure was Dustin Hoffman.

MM in a Skirt?

LF Yeah, I think he’s domg some method acting research for Tootsie 2. (There then follows a handful of Dustin Hoffman impersonations)

AB In the early 80s for some reason, it must have been a typing error, I was booked to go on a tour with Yazoo. It was fucking ridiculous. TF And you did it?

AB Yes I did it. l was in my 405 even then, and I went out and they all thought I was the fire officer, you know, ’exits this way’. The worst night was at the Hacienda, the whole evening was delayed and I went on an hour after they were supposed to be on and everyone just started throwing money at me.

JC You’ve got the agent of the century.

AB Norman Lovett told me that he once supported The Clash. I don’t know if he meant financially.

RN Last year Rich Hall as Otis Lee Crenshaw was asked to support the Sisters Of Mercy on a tour across America.

LF (To Arno/d) I think you and Yazoo is the winner. AB Also, I have supported Sinatra. I went on and there’s 10,000 people and what can I say to 10,000

people? It wasn’t a great gig, but it's there on my CV. PM Did you get to meet Sinatra?

A8 No, he was always with someone, so I couldn’t actually meet him.

PM Were there lots of heavies?

AB Oh yeah, he didn’t go anywhere on his own, and he arrived in a helicopter. PM How did his toupee cope with the helicopter and everything? Did he have to hold onto it?

AB He had a man doing that too.

Arnold Brown (Fringe) The Stand Comedy Club (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 27 Aug. 7.45pm, £6 (£5).

Lynn Ferguson appears with Karen Loftus (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 28 Aug. 10.15pm, £8 (£7).

Kindling by Lynn Ferguson (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 28 Aug, 5.30pm, £8.50 (£7.50).

Tim FitzHigham and James Cary are from Infinite Number Of Monkeys Do Gravity (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2151, until 28 Aug, 6.30pm, £7 (£6).

Patrick McDonnell appears in The Pound Shop Boys (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2151, until 28 Aug, 9.30pm, £7.50 (£6.50).

Mark Maier (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 28 Aug, 7.15pm, £9l£10 (£8/£9).

Ross Noble (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2151, until 28 Aug, 9pm, £8.50 (£7.50).

Infinite Number Of Monkeys and Ross Noble