Heineken and leading Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue The Gilded Balloon have announced a new three-year partnership that will install Foster’s as the title sponsor of the prestigious amateur comedy competition, So You Think You’re Funny?
The sponsorship underlines Foster’s long term commitment to discovering and developing up and coming comedy talent.
So You Think You’re Funny? is the leading amateur comedy competition in the UK and has seen the likes of Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Johnny Vegas, Dylan Moran and Jack Whitehall as winners and finalists in previous years. The 2012 competition will start on 21st May 2012 with the first regional heat in London and the final being held at The Gilded Balloon during the Edinburgh Festival in August.
“Foster’s and So You Think You’re Funny? is a great fit and we are very excited about the new partnership. We share the same values of developing the best up and coming talent in the comedy industry and we believe our latest comedy collaboration will provide the perfect foundations for a wider talent support network in the future.” - Niall McKee, Brand Manager, Foster’s
“We are particularly excited in this our 25th year of the competition and believe that Foster’s and Gilded Balloon together can discover and nurture the comedy greats of tomorrow!” – Karen Koren, director of The Gilded Balloon
Article by Dan Carrier
What would you expect if you saw this? Correct – welcome to the Comedy Shed. To an audience of 5 people (4 on chairs and 1 standing) Ed Gamble superbly MC’d a comedy gig…in a shed!
James Acaster was the first comedian to perform delivering some very funny observations on the Loch Ness monster and cows. Ben Target, one of the most exciting up and coming prop comics on the scene, introduced himself personally to each and every member of the audience and, not seeing the size of the “room” as an obstacle, blew up a balloon that took up the remaining space inside this somewhat comedy club and proceeded to leave the shed by CROWDSURFING!!!
The lantern even fell in the middle of the performance so, apart from the few atmospherically-scattered fairly lights, we were sitting in a shed with a comedian performing his set in the dark. Phil Nichol closed the show with his much loved and highly entertaining eskimo song as well as other wonderfully funny musical numbers that had the entire audience singing and literally raising the roof! With a standing ovation, Phil left the stage (the audience member at the back of the shed having to step out of the shed for Phil to leave) and coming back to the somewhat “stage” (the audience member at the back having to step out of the shed for Phil to come back in) for an encore!
The comedy shed was possibly the most innovative, exciting and unpredictable gig I have ever experienced! But what is more exciting is that the comedy shed is one of the many features available in the comedy arena at this year’s Latitude Festival!
Latitude is launching a series of monthly events at the Century Club in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, which will showcase some of the artists lined up for this year’s festival. The event is free for Latitude 2012 ticket holders, Century Club members and members of the Latitude forums and gives you a sneak preview of a special selection of performances booked for the festival across music, comedy, theatre, cabaret, poetry, literature and the arts.
The scheduled dates are:
2012 Longitude events
Monday 5th March
Monday 16th April
Monday 14th May
Monday 11th June
Monday 10th September
Monday 8th October
Monday 12th November
Monday 10th December
Don’t miss out! I really can’t explain just how amazing an experience it was to have some of the best comedians perform a gig in a shed to five people and if you want to experience it and attend the Latitude previews then e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or get your tickets here!
For more comedy news, visit comedyblogedy.com/news
The Invisible Dot Ltd is one of the most exciting and innovative production companies in the country. Having worked extensively with cutting edge comedians Tim Key, Mark Watson, Daniel Kitson, David O’Doherty and Simon Amstell they are uniquely placed to to bring audiences the next generation of exceptional acts emerging through the Edinburgh Fringe and the London alternative circuit… The Invisible Dot Tour is taking place for the first time in 2012, a snapshot of the most exciting and funny new acts in the country right now. Check out more info & tickets!
– Accommodation & expenses provided
– You’ll be needed for about 6 hours a day e.g. flyering, sourcing reviews etc.
-You need to be enthusiastic and willing to talk to people! (But you’ll be flyering for some of the best acts in comedy so you’ll want to tell people how great their shows are anyway!)
- Accommodation & expenses provided
– You need experience for this role e.g. basic sound a lights from a sound desk and confident use of a mac.
– You’ll be needed for about 3 – 4 hours a day, plus tech rehearsals on the first day and any extra shows if they get added.
Following the success of UCL’s regular Bright Club, where university staff share a stage with professional comedians and entertainers to dig out the funny side of their work, it’s now time for UCL students to tread the boards.
Humour Me: Live! will feature a line-up of UCL undergraduates and postgraduate students. The majority are comedy virgins and will be performing their very first five minutes of stand-up – a momentous occasion.
Before the event, professional comedian Bec Hill will hold workshops with the students – training them in the art of stand-up, helping to develop their material and providing general hints and tips on performing. Jonathan Grant, Head of Comedy Talent at Red 24 Management and an established stand-up, will also be coaching the students and guiding those who would like to pursue their interest in comedy further.
Humour Me: Live! is a joint initiative from Comedy Blogedy and Bright Club and stems from the Humour Me podcast for Comedy Blogedy, which also broadcasts on UCL Union Student Radio (Rare FM). Humour Mefeatures interviews with some of the best comedians & sketch groups on the British and international comedy circuit, as well as some of the most prominent and respected members of the comedy industry. Previous guests include Paul Foot, Kate Copstick, Max & Ivan, Katherine Ryan, The Axis of Awesome, Hils Jago, Totally Tom, Phil Nichol & more. The shows are available at www.comedyblogedy.com/audio
Sara Shulman, Editor of Comedy Blogedy and Head of Comedy at UCLU Rare FM said, “This is such a fantastic opportunity for UCL students to perform their first stand-up gig and get a taste of the performance side of comedy. All the guests on Humour Me have given us advice and told us about their experiences in comedy – now UCL students can put everything they have heard into practice!”
Steve Cross, Head of Public Engagement at UCL and co-founder of Bright Club said “For the past three years I’ve been talking UCL staff into trying comedy for the first time, and working with Sara to find out what students can do is the next obvious step. I’m predicting hilarity and probably anarchy, jokes about complicated intellectual concepts, and knob gags.”
Check out the trailer!
A record-breaking 700 entries have so far been made for the prestigious, nationwide Amused Moose Laugh Off contest, which searches out and discovers the next big comedy stars.
Entries opened on 1st January, but due to 50% more interest than expected extra qualifying rounds have been added including one this coming Sunday in Camden, to accommodate the waiting list that formed for the qualifying rounds in London as well as the North of England and Scotland. There are now just a handful of spaces available in London this Sunday, and in the Ireland rounds in April.
Hils Jago, founder of Amused Moose Comedy and these awards, says “We have been almost overwhelmed by the huge increase in interest this year, and although the qualifying rounds have only just started we’ve already spotted some exciting new talent who we may well be showcasing at the Edinburgh Fringe in August, and London’s Soho Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre the following month. Amused Moose Laugh Off has gone from strength to strength since Jimmy Carr was in the final in 1999, so it’s clearly a top way to showcase your talents to the comedy industry while taking your first steps towards getting an agent and your own DVD deal, plus having a shot at the main prize of £1500 to invest in the development of your comedy career.”
In association with leading UK DVD company 2entertain, this exciting countrywide talent search for comedy’s brand new comic gems is famed for discovering the comedy stars of the future. Previous Amused Moose Laugh Off winners include Jack Whitehall and Sarah Millican.
The audience votes at every stage, whilst the overall winner is ultimately decided by the movers and shakers of the comedy industry. The Amused Moose Laugh Off 2012 final, featuring an international comedy industry panel and a celebrity host, will be held at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2012. It continues to be a fantastic shop window for new talent.
For the entry form and more information go to www.AmusedMoose.com/LaughOff to grab one of the remaining places, and then just turn up at qualifying rounds eager to perform a few minutes of your funniest gags, hopefully on your way to fame and fortune.
TONIGHT (7th Feb 2012) in Camden (arrival 6.30pm, away by 9.30) or SUNDAY (12th Feb) afternoon (arrival noon away by 3.15pm — or by request arrival 3.15pm away by 6.15pm)
Hopefully you’ll be quick enough to get one of the remaining spaces.
It’s unlikely that any other spaces in qualifying rounds of AmusedMoose LaughOff 2012 will arise in London, because the competition is already overfull on Monday evening which is the last qualifying round being held in London.
Entries just opened for the prestigious, nationwide AmusedMoose LaughOff 2012 Competition to search out and discover the next big comedy star – with rounds in London, the north of England (Harrogate), Scotland (Edinburgh) and Ireland (Dublin) from the end of January so there’s no time to waste! The semifinals will be in London, with the Final (won by Jack Whitehall in 2007 amongst an array of brilliant finalists including Andi Osho) as a highpoint of the Edinburgh Fringe in August. In association with leading UK DVD company 2entertain, this exciting countrywide talent search for comedy’s brand new comic gems is famed for discovering the comedy stars of the future.
Talent scouts, managers/agents, producers and bookers for example will be watching the rounds from the Heats onwards, and over half the audience at the Final will be ‘industry’ with the panel including programmers from the biggest international comedy festivals. Audience votes count from the Heats to the Final, but are balanced by industry votes; by doing it this way, winners and finalists emerge who not only are popular with audiences but also have what it takes to be even more successful on television and DVD.
Not only is there a cheque for the winner, and shiny Moose trophies too, but there’s a huge amount of exposure to industry folk which is crucially important. Also 2entertain, who support AmusedMoose LaughOff, will be talent spotting to find DVD stars of the future; Rob Beckett (whose winner’s cheque in 2010 paid for him to go to the Adelaide comedy festival, where he was named International New Comedian Award runner-up) signed with Jason Manford and John Bishop‘s agent, and now has a DVD deal, so his comedy career has developed by leaps and bounds over the past 18 months.
So if you want to set your stand-up career off to a flying start, showcase your talents to the comedy industry, take your first steps towards your own DVD and have a shot at the main prize of £1500 to invest in the development of your comedy career, what are you waiting for?
Adam Hess, an economics student at the University of Sussex has won the Chortle award for Student Comedian of the Year. After starting off at the UCL heats in March, the 21-year-old from Croydon took the judges by storm with his fast-pace and high energy one liners at the Chortle Student Comedy Award Final at the Edinburgh Fringe .
Hess was also awarded £1,000 along with all the prestige the award holds in the comedy industry. Simon Bird, star of The Inbetweeners, Radio 1’s Tom Deacon and Tom Rosenthal from Friday Night’s Dinner are all previous winners of the award.
Glenn Moore took second place along with £250 – a student at Sheffield University, originally from Brighton, studying for an MA in Broadcast Journalism. Richard Hanrahan came third, a 24-year-old student of film in Edinburgh, originally from Harlow.
Steve Bennett, Editor of Chortle said: “We had a strong and diverse final of the Student Comedy Award today, and I suspect all of these talented performers have a future in comedy. But Adam’s manic energy swung the decision in his favour. He’s a worthy winner.”
Adam Riches has won the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for ‘Best Comedy Show 2011′. He was praised by judges for his “trademark mix of character comedy, anarchic stagecraft and a fearless level of audience engagement”. Riches describes his comedy as “fast-paced character comedy with a lot of audience interaction”.
Andrew Maxwell, Chris Ramsey, Josie Long, Nick Helm and Sam Simmons were amongst the short-list for the prize.
Nica Burns, producer of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards said: “Congratulations to Adam Riches, who is utterly original, extremely funny and a huge talent. He will no doubt be seen on your television screens in the near future.”
The ‘Best Newcomer’ prize was awarded to Humphrey Ker for his show ‘Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher’.
Cariad Lloyd, The Chris and Paul Show, Hannibal Buress, Holly Walsh, Humphrey Ker, Josh Widdicombe, Thom Tuck and Totally Tom were all nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’.
The Panel Prize went to The Wrestling, a show that involved 20 comedians and 8 world-class wrestlers.
The awards have been running since 1981 and were formerly known as the Perriers and the If.Comeddies. Al Murray, Steve Coogan and Lee Evans have been previous winners of the prize. Acts are only eligible for the award if they are not “star” names, have not already had a TV series and have not performed under their own name to a 500-seat venue.
505 different shows were seen by the judges over three weeks. Along with the prestige of winning a Foster’s Comedy Award, the ‘Best Comedy Show’ winner receives £10,000 and ‘Best Newcomer’ wins £5,000.
Comedian Nick Helm has won the Dave award for the ‘Best Joke’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 has won an award for the best joke of the Edinburgh Fringe:
“I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”
The panel of judges put a selection of their favourite jokes to a public vote. Tim Vine, winner of the best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe 2010, won second place this year.
Helm said: “I knew my joke was the funniest joke of all the other jokes in 2011. Thank you to Dave and all the people that voted for proving me right.”
On the opposite end of the funny scale was Paul Daniels, who won the award for worst joke of the festival:
“I said to a fella ‘Is there a B&Q in Henley?’ He said ‘No, there’s an H, an E, an N an L and a Y’.”
The top ten jokes of the festival were judged to be:
1. Nick Helm: “I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”
2. Tim Vine: “Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels.”
3. Hannibal Buress: “People say ‘I’m taking it one day at a time’. You know what? So is everybody. That’s how time works.”
4. Tim Key: “Drive-Thru McDonalds was more expensive than I thought… once you’ve hired the car…”
5. Matt Kirshen: “I was playing chess with my friend and he said, ‘Let’s make this interesting’. So we stopped playing chess.”
6. Sarah Millican: “My mother told me, you don’t have to put anything in your mouth you don’t want to. Then she made me eat broccoli, which felt like double standards.”
7. Alan Sharp: “I was in a band which we called The Prevention, because we hoped people would say we were better than The Cure.”
8. Mark Watson: “Someone asked me recently – what would I rather give up, food or sex. Neither! I’m not falling for that one again, wife.”
9. Andrew Lawrence: “I admire these phone hackers. I think they have a lot of patience. I can’t even be bothered to check my OWN voicemails.”
10. DeAnne Smith: “My friend died doing what he loved … Heroin.”
Since its online release in June 2011 (distributed at FunnyorDie, Blip, Youtube, Vimeo and iTunes), the independently produced series has seen remarkable audience support. Within just 2 months of the series launch, there have been views exceeding 5,000 across platforms.
The finale episode was inspired by the “holiday episode” format from British comedy sitcoms such as League of Gentlemen and The Office; Completely Normal Activity departs from both the horror and improv formats to share a musical dream sequence which features an originally scripted song performed by the cast and penned by the production team.
The first season debuted on 14th June 2011 on the Completely Normal Activity website and comprises of nine webisodes, five to seven minutes each. The synopsis for the first season is as follows:
Twenty-something slacker Richie (Bryan Beckwith) tries desperately to document suspected “paranormal activity”, only to invite unwittingly a malevolent force into his apartment.
Richie – Bryan Beckwith
Relle – Muriel Montgomery
Zach – Duncan Miller
Lilah – Erin O’Shea
Judy Amethyst – Martha Hearn
Josiah – Nick Casalini
Private Portions is a sketch-writing collective of graduates from Second City’s Core Writing Program dedicated to crafting intelligent, sophisticated sketch comedy. Completely Normal Activity is Private Portions’ first improvised web series project, filmed on location in Chicago, IL.
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