If You Can't Stand the Heat…

Picture the scene: You’re a comedian on your first run in Edinburgh. It’s not going so well. Most shows are made up of mates on comps and the odd, stray lunchtime punter. One day you have a solitary paying customer (and no mates). You have to cancel that show.

You are not getting reviewed – cause you’re a nobody in a town of 3,000 performers. Finally you get a review in a popular Edinburgh publication, it’s a not a good review but it’s not a bad one. A bog-standard, two-star review, because you’re a bog-standard, two-star comic.

mike bubbinsWhat do you do: (a) read the review, heed the advice (and the lack of customers) and decide to rethink your act (or maybe you career) or do you (b) scrawl a nonsensical, error-strewn rant at the journo who wrote the review telling all about your pitiful Fringe run…..well if your name is the unfortunate Mike Bubbins you choose the latter…

For anyone who wants to read Mike’s rant about my review of his show (from last week’s the List) in its foaming entirety check it out here http://blogs.walesonline.co.uk/mikebubbins/2009/08/amixed-bag.html

The condensed version goes something like this: ‘If the author, Peter Geogehan(sic), had said that to me during one of the hundred plus hours I have spent writing and re-writing my set since Christmas, he would find out fairly quickly that, compared to the bespectacled, emaciated, pasty Mr Geogehan (And he is. I Googled him. For ages) I am very much not lacking in the punch department. After wishing a fatal industrial accident on my old mate Pete, I consoled myself with the knowledge that all reviewers are sad wannabes, without the courage, or talent to actually do what it is they are giving their ‘expert’ opinions on.’

Poor Mike, if you can’t stand the heat mate I really would get out of the kitchen…googling your reviewers (would help if you got my name right) and then mocking them as ‘pasty’ and ‘bespectacled’ is not big, hard…or funny…as for the threat to punch me, well Mr B that’s just very juvenile, isn’t it?

And his barely legible ramblings don’t get much better: ‘There is a lot of competition in Edinburgh. A LOT of competition. Over 2000 shows this year. But that includes a LOT of rubbish, and my show isn’t.’ (All correct…and if he had read my review I didn’t say it was rubbish…’under-written’ and ‘lacking punch’ are not the same thing).

‘Settle down Geogehan, or I will smash your glasses.’ Well done Mike, another schoolyard threat and still making spelling mistakes (the piece is littered with them – learn to spell check B-man).

‘But nobody knows me up here….You have never seen a more pitiful sight that grown men and women poring through a paper, desperate to find out what some unknown person’s opinion of them is.’

Yes, Mike the problem is yours not mine. I’m doing my job – if you did yours better you wouldn’t be getting your knickers in such a twist. But just when it looks like Mike is smelling the coffee he loses the rag again:

‘The fact that no-one outside of Edinburgh has even heard of Three Weeks or downmarket, lying, hack-written rag The List, means nothin’….

It goes on in this style for a couple of hundred words (including a rather pathetic admission to getting tutorials from comic Rhod Gilbert during the middle of his run) before ending with this corker:

‘I can neither confirm nor deny that this is the same part-time, freelance, ‘writer’ and Milhouse lookalike Peter Geogehan who is notorious for being a persistent bed-wetter and who has an unhealthy interest in farmyard animals.’

ah Mike, Mike, you just can’t leave the schoolyard….lucky I have a full-time job to keep me busy…and by the way it’s GEOGHEGAN

Some more Edinburgh reviews

I’m still in Edinburgh reviewing away, here’s a couple of other pieces from The List

Phil Nichol

‘Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Bobby Spade.’ Phil Nichol’s transformation into a white-suited lounge lizard with a sideline in psychopathy, is so complete that all that’s missing is the trademark Stars in Their Eyes dry-ice intro. Accompanied by jazz piano and double-bass, the Canadian comic unfurls his man’s tragic back-story – an abusive mother, a series of ‘uncles’, a string of failed marriages – in hilarious verse, riotous song and priceless one-liners.

philnichol--TLST034895Early offering ‘My Show’ – a paean with enough egomania to fill a clutch of gangsta rap records – is pure Spade: misogynistic, lecherous, unnerving, and deeply, consistently funny. From then on in it’s a rollercoaster ride of black comedy gold with beat poetry about adultery and incest, rockabilly ditties redolent of an incurably demented Johnny Cash and a witty meditation on Helen Keller’s husband. Nichol’s stand-up is certainly an acquired taste but in Spade he has found the perfect vehicle for his substantial lyrical gifts. There is physicality to his humour too. While reciting a punk poem entitled ‘Do Everything You’re Not Supposed To’, he grits his teeth and butts the air like an angsty teenager at a My Chemical Romance gig.

The laughs come thick and fast throughout, aided and abetted by a string of one-liners so depraved Jerry Sadowitz would think twice before using them – but so good he’d never pass them up. Nichol even creates a new literary form in the ‘pong’ (a poem/song hybrid) during which he admits: ‘This show won’t make you think/It’s just something I wrote when I’d too much to drink’. Bobby Spade may not be the most cerebral character on this year’s Fringe, but he could well be the funniest. (Peter Geoghegan)

The Stand II, 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 9pm, £10.

David Longley
Acid-tongued and sharp as a barrelful of tacks, Englishman Longley is a comedian with an axe to grind. His rants on everything from politics to pregnancy don’t always hit the bullseye, but his witty one-liners keep the laughs ticking over.

The Stand III & IV, 558 7272, until 30 Aug (not 17), 8.35pm, £7 (£6).

Mike Bubbins
Stocky Welshman Bubbins is the spit of The King of Queens’ Kevin James and, unfortunately, his Fringe debut is about as adventurous as the tepid US sitcom. The former PE teacher’s tales of daytime TV, smalltown life and material strife are often underwritten and lack punch, but a natural charm and confident delivery just about sees him through.

The GRV, 226 0000, until 30 Aug, 1.40pm, £5.

Janey Godley
godleys-janeygodleyphoto1-cTThis straight-talking Glaswegian is not one to mince her words: so when she tells you about unwittingly smoking crack or catching Mexican swine flu you’re inclined to believe her. Immensely likeable, Godley’s well-crafted anecdotes are sharp and engaging enough to cover an occasional lack of originality.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 7pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50).