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Shock, outrage and disgust have always been three useful-Ways of selling tickets. Tom Lappin looks at the welter of Fringe comics striving to outgross each other, with an at-a-glance guide to where each performer stands filth~wise. Meanwhile , Thom Dibdin traces the

shows that caused the scandals in

previous years.

i 52-"

i I 1 «'- i , / Aux I i a j couple of years ago, Gerry feature article. that alternative comedy was t sexual politics. distinctly more 'I'V-friendly : l Sadowitz, still regarded as the béte such a successful movement because it was ' than the leftie ()ld (iuard. Perhaps it‘s about i

j noir oflive comedy said, ‘I just say non-sexist. non-racist. non-homophobic. time we admitted that we didn't laugh at The

l the things that annoy me, the with no artificial ingredients and additives. Young Ones because it was radical and

j. things I consrder toObe sick or bad. and environment-friendly to boot. It was dangerous. we laughed because it was

E Some of them are ridiculous, supposedly conscience comedy for the (’in packed with gags about farting and bodily

l there‘s no reason behind it, but I think Limits and Guardian reader. gags for the functions.

' they’re funny. [don’t expect anyone to feminist woman and the New Man enjoying For the real twin pillars of the alternative

agree with me. [don’t even wantthemto anightout from their Camden Town first ' circuit were the related topicsoflfilth and agree with me. I just want them to laugh.‘ A flats or Islington squats. Truth. The original appeal of the new couple ofweeks ago Sadowitz was beaten up Now. itdoesn‘t take close examination to comedians wasthe fact that they didn‘t do on stage in Montreal for making a bad-taste realise that this just won't wash. OK. maybe anecdotal stuff about playing golf with joke about French Canadians. The lesson there was a ‘bit of politics‘ in the motivation 'l‘arby. or meeting their imaginary mate seemsto bethat ifyoutry to be the cutting ofearly acts. but ‘alternative comedy" has ('halkie down the pub. 'l‘heir materialcame edge of comedy, you can expect to get a few since become a mass movement in away from real life and. reflecting a common stitches now and then. In fact the attack on right-on-ness has never achieved. to the . human fascination with matters scatological ? Sadowrtz was an exceptional event. On the extent ofcreating a new mainstream. The and sexual. most of it was in bad taste. 'I‘heir 5 live comedy Circuit. strictures on what can be London clubs are packed with lager lads jokes squatted in the gaps where the

said have relaxed asanatural side-effect of from Essex shouldertoshoulder with (‘itv 1 unmentioimble met the unavoidable. and

the quest for originality. and the scope for brokers, suggesting a rather more basic ' they led off the audience‘s recognition and

Offence iS Wider than ever. appeal than political correctness. A whole i'eliei that someone \\ as talking about these There is a myth being insidiously host of new male comics have emerged with | things at long last.

perpetuated year by year, feature article by more flexible approaches to the subject of l

Not that being vulgar on stage is any thing

'l'he list lb 33 .\ugust [WI 11