our show when we heard the ominous sounds of a tractor being smashed up. Then Bogosian burst in and thumped Martin (Hardee’s sidekick in The Greatest Show On Legs). I said, “Oi mate, it’s me you should be hitting. . .’ Bogosian was the worst, boring and evil. Smith: ‘In our house we stick up the names of very boring people to be avoided every Festival. You’re going to be in there this year Malcolm. I remember a bald bloke years ago who was putting on a musical in the biggest room in the Assembly Rooms. He said it was about to go on Broadway and all that, but he’d basically just blagged his way in. He was an enormously pretentious man and hated by everyone. His cast was down to ten by the time he arrived in Edinburgh cos they’d all left. Their van had broken down on the way up and he’d been rehearsing them on the hard shoulder of the Ml.’ ‘He played to audiences of about twenty, and we’d go and sit in the back row and jeer. He had no set because all the set designers had left, no orchestra, one bloke with a guitar, and the bald bloke camping around in tights. We’d all sit at the back and hurl abuse. One day he leapt off the stage and a fight broke out between him and Rory McGrath. Eggs were thrown and he was never seen again, although I did spot him teaching an aerobics class a couple of years



Fringe Audiences

Smith: ‘I’ve got a play on that I’ve never done before. It’s a good place to experiment and the audiences are pretty good. The little old ladies will go in for the most bizarre things. The audiences are a lot less dangerous, but the performers can be more dangerous.’

Hardee: ‘The biggest mistake is to put on a Scottish accent in front of a Scottish audience. When I was younger and more stupid, we had this Scottish sword-dancing routine where we’d get a member of the audience to be the swords, and dance on top of him. So I foolishly put on this crap Glasgow accent and said, ‘I want a volunteer and it’s you’ and the guy just stood up and thumped me and knocked me out. Apparently I was out for about 40 seconds, then I got up and said, “no, not you . . .’


The Worst Fringe Show Ever.

Hardee: ‘I went to see a show with Mark Steel once. We went into a show when it was pissing down. We paid a couple of quid, went upstairs and sat in this living room. There were these two rows of chairs opposite each other, and in the middle these two sets of cricket stumps and a tape recorder. Some bloke poked his finger round and put it on, and it was a cricket commentary. A bloke came out in full cricket gear and mimed the commentary. We were sitting there thinking, “what the fuck is this?”. Then all of a sudden it stopped, and the guy with the bat turns around and says, ‘if Jesus were alive during the time of cricket he would have knocked the world for six . . .’ and he was a Christian. We had to fuck off.’

Smith: ‘I had an idea for doing a show that would start in my flat at about eleven in the morning. The stage manager lets people in quietly, and the alarm clock comes on, and I ' wake up, and there’s the audience. Then I get up, have a shit, make a cup of tea . . .’

Hardom ‘I do that sort of thing in my show this year. The audience turn up and I’m in the bath. .

Smith: ‘Nudity in a Malcolm Hardee show, there’s a novelty . . .

Nudity And Malcolm Hardee

Smith: ‘Last year, in my show,l was delivering this lecture about this guy, and I said he had enormous testicles, believed to be the third largest this century after Malcolm Hardee and Jenny Agutter’s father. I got that story from Malcolm...’

Hardee: ‘. . . Dennis Agutter used to run this thing called CSE, which is Combined Services Entertainments, performers going over to play for the troops in Belize or whatever. So we auditioned for this. At four in the afternoon, this bloke comes over, says,“what do you do?‘ We said a few sketches and a bit of music, you’ll love it. He just said, “I’ve got the biggest bollocks you’ve ever seen. Anyone who’s got bigger bollocks than me will get the job.” So Martin says, “go on Malcolm get ’em out.” So we slapped ’em on the table, and .mine weren’t big enough. We didn’t get the job. Shame really. I got this brilliant prop in Montreal last month, in this sex shop, these latex bollocks, like the real thing but massive. Someone’s nicked them.’


Smith: ‘There’s a sense of not giving a shit. You couldn’t drink and consume at that rate for the rest of the year.’

Hardee: ‘I could, whose round is it?’

Smith: ‘I was supposed to be going to a seminar one year but ended up in the pub in Leith at eleven in the morning with Malcolm. The only other customers were the hardened alcoholic having a breakfast pint, and a bunch of squaddies with their girlfriends. Malcolm was pissed, so I said, “show ’em your bollocks they’ll like that”, but their girlfriends were there so they got a bit nasty. I was supposed to be on a panel at this comedy seminar, and I sent a note with these two


‘We’re like seasoned campaigners now, we can take it in our stride. Not like these new young comics, they have an orange juice and fuck off home to bed. I used to take all of September off teetotal to recover, but I decided to take February off instead, cos it’s ,_ only got 28 ij2¥days3

Edinburgh blokes I’d met who were out of their heads on speed. So they sat on the platform with their eyes rolling all over the place, while I went home to bed.’

H3600: ‘We’re like seasoned campaigners now, we can take it in our stride. Not like these new young comics, they have an orange juice and fuck off home to bed. I used to take all of September off teetotal to recover, but I decided to take February off instead, cos it’s only got 28 days.’

Sex Smith: ‘Malcolm has a great feminine side to himself. Allied with his extreme good looks, it’s hardly surprising that women find him appealing. He’s known as the Rob Lowe of South London at least to his PR agent.’ Smith: ‘One doesn’t like to boast about these things, and it’s nothing much to do with Edinburgh, but I’ve had the best place ever for open-air sex. The centre spot at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea weren’t there at the time of course, it was the close season. My girlfriend lived near the ground and we climbed in one night and did it on the centre spot. Unbelievable.’ At this point Hardee embarked on a long, rambling tale about the time he shot an actor (with an air pistol), and a contentious dispute about the thespian craft. The contest draws to a slightly pissed and contentious close. Barman: ‘Fuckin’ Hell, you’re that Malcolm Hardee, can I have an autograph . . . 0

Malcolm Hardee performs I Stole Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Cake at 14 Brandon Street at 6.30pm until 28 Aug, and competes Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh at The Gilded Balloon until 28 Aug at 11.30pm.

Arthur Smith ’5 Sod is at The Pleasance until 4 Sept at 6.50pm and An Evening With Gary Lineker is at The Assembly Rooms until 4 Sept at 5.50pm.

The List 20—26 August 199311