£5 ~.

Edinburgh’s colonisation by colonial comedians advances yet another step with this packet of three from North America’s sanest country. Our compere is Phil Nichol, a member of Corky and the Juice Pigs, and therefore dangerously hyperactive and somewhat surreal. Frothing at the lips like a BSE-infected bison, he prances at will from stage to auditorium, caioling the audience into a receptive state, and pausing briefly to play one song before introducing Radio Free


They’re a three-man outfit from Montreal, with an agreeable line in


Crack Up Canada: the porch songs of Radio Free Vestibule


rolling. Perhaps most memorable is their ‘Crunge Song’, in which checkered shirts and electric guitars accompany a how-it’s-done lyric.

The final act is Toronto stand-up Mike Wilmot, a big guy whose two main topics are being a big guy and shagging. It’s fair to say the big guy stuff enjoys less prominence than the shagging stuff, indeed this may even be the crudest show on the Fringe, but it’s also extremely funny, and Wilmot’s lack of machismo renders him almost

totally inoffensive. Not one for your


quirky, sketch-based humour. It’s in

the nature of such a beast to be patchy, but it hits more than it misses, with slick delivery keeping the act

grandmother, nonetheless. (Andrew

Crack Up Canada (Fringe) Gilded Balloon ( Venue 38) 226 2151, until 2 Sept (not 27) 8.30pm, £6.50 (£5.50).


Our John is suffering from the ‘l'm thirty' neurosis a common occurrence that seems to hit all male stand-ups at some point. Symptoms can include openly admitting an interest in DIY and talking about children. Struggling manfully against it. Moloney‘s hour is introduced via a phone conversation with his dad. °and after a corking jig on the squeezebox. John settles in to some quick— fire one-liners, with the theme of the show taken from his experiences as a teacher. The once sarky man of comedy seems to be mellowing out slightly and it‘s worth coming along just to listen to his stories about comprehensive education and a nifty Billy Bragg impression. (Cait Hurley)

L I John Moloney’s Class

OT ’95 (Fringe) John Moloney. The Gilded Balloon (Venue 38). 226 2151. until 2 Sept (not 31 Aug) £6.50 (£5.50).


The premise is this: every night the audience nominates academic disciplines to each of the three young professors. plus a hypothetical supposition (eg ‘country music is edible') which said boffms tnust prove. Tonight they were landed with ‘underwear is the key to the origin of human life'. and the professors' designated fields were ballet. proctology (bottom studies) and gynaecology. My heart sank at the prospect of an hour of oooh missus. poofy/rectum/vaginal puns. but the closest these Americans came to that was a Latin conjugation of

the verb bumm: bumrno. bummas . . . Yep. no swearing neither.

Does it work? You bet. Given the nature of improv there were one or two slower moments. but no one actually died. and they were mostly slick and sharp as a paper cut. Not so much a case of is it art. but is it science? (Gabe Stewart)

I Modern Problems in Science (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 2 Sept. 9.20pm. £8.50/£7.50 (£7.50/£6.50).


Roll up. roll up fora night of reactionary comedy and hilarious Sean Connery impersonations: hear a middle-aged man make jokes about Kurt Cobain's suicide; thrill to the sight of two grown men doing Nazi salutes. The evening’s host Geoff Boyl. sets the tone with a stream of mean- spirited anti-tingliin jokes which were as tired as they were unnecessary. His act seems to have been tailored to the college circuit ~ a blunt instrument for bludgeoning jokes into lagered-up students. Second up was Kenny Harris. a reasonably engaging comedian who opts for the cheap laugh every time. He was more than happy to pick up Boyle's ‘iinglish people are crap‘ line and run with it. Last on were John Paul Leach and Ford Kiernan. a usually entertaining Glasgow double act. who were clearly infected with the air of unpleasantness hanging around. Singing ‘Deutschland Uber Alles' to a German couple in the front row was not big or clever. Let's hope visitors to Edinburgh didn't leave thinking this really is the best of Scottish comedy. (Fddie Gibb) I Best of Scottish Comedy (Fringe) Gilded Balloon ll (Venue 51) 226 6550. until 2 Sept (not 3 l) 9.15pm. £6.50 (£5.50).


What a delight; to be in the palm of MacAulay's hand for an hour while he weaves his genial spell over a room which is refreshingly full of Scots. Gags about l.eith and Gaelic television go down a storm and there's no dull ‘difference between the Scots and the anlish' material here. MacAulay

Modern Problems in Sclence: boffln-tastlc j

Fred MacAulay: baldy man

takes what on paper look like well-worn themes (National Lottery. drinking. baldness . . .) and refreshes them completely. single-

i on form

handedly reconfirming my -

faith in straight stand-up. For anyone with a palate jaded by too much comedy. MacAulay is the perfect appetiser. It's a

pleasure to watch a master :

at work. He‘s brilliant and

the buzz from other shows j

is that .‘ylacAulay has hit form at exactly the right time. Book now. (Cait Hurley)

I Fred MacAulay -


Judging by his publicity. an audience could be forgiven for thinking that Tim Clark is the sharpest hatchet man in British comedy. A baggy-eyed skinhead stares sarcastically out of his posters. looking ready to verbally kneecap any hecklers. So it's something of a surprise when Clark in the flesh is the softly-spoken purveyor of a relatively mellow blend of observational humour with just the occasional twist of surrealism. Given that the audience could be counted by anyone with the full complement of fingers and toes. Clark did well to

keep the comedy ball

Unfringed (Fringe) Gilded buttocks been parked on

Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2l5l. until 2 Sept.

9.15pm. £7(£5).


Jenny Eclair: shagarama




F.ver tried shagging a comedian? Don't bother. Jenny liclair has. and it was or more accurately. wum 'I a pain in the bum. 'When I'm in bed I don‘t want laughs.‘ she shrieks. ‘I want to be slapped and shaved.‘ As she beetles round her stage. hunched over and horny. hair out of a bottle and her life at the bottom of one. Eclair cuts a complex figure: part horny strumpet. part sad loser. and part slash 'n' burn destructor of all the sexual niceties that a thirtysomething mother slum/(l hold dear.

From Fringe veteran Eclair (ie ‘tired old slapper Eclair') it's another full~on. full-pelt hormonal hurricane that is as shocking as it is exhausting as it is invigorating. Go along and bust a gusset. (Craig McLean)

I Jenny Eclair Prozac And Tantrums (Fringe) Jenny Eclair. The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 2 Sept. £8/7 (£7/6).

rolling but had a few more

seats then there would have been more cannon

fodder for him to feed off.

(Jonathan Trew)

I Do You Feel lucky? (Fringe) Tim Clark. Gilded Balloon ll (Venue 51) 226 2l5l. until 2 Sept (not 29). 9.30pm. £6.50


The Pleasance (Venue 33)



Last year lvor Dembina's Jewish comedy show was a relaxed. soul-enriching joy. In the intimate confines of the Pleasance Attic. the cheery Harry H. Corbett soundalike talked the audience gently through his understanding of Jewish culture. purposefully eschewing sexual braggadocio in favour of a wry. low-key honesty.

This year however. [)ernbina has graduated to the Pleasance Above and. in a space large enough to require the use of amplification. much of the charm of the show is lost. Where he once interacted smoothly with the audience. Dembina now struggles to create a rapport and to add insult to injury. the tone has dropped noticably. with references to the performer‘s infidelity leaving a bad taste in the mouth. Catch him in a smaller venue. (Ian Watson)

I lvor Dembina in Stand Up Jewish Comedy

(Fringe) lvor Dembina.

556 6550. until 2 Sept (not 31) £7.50/£6.50 (£6.50/£5.50).

48 The List 25 Au2-7 Sent 1995