Comedy Blogedy Exclusive: Turtle Canyon Comedy released the first series of Totally Trented in 2014. It’s a hidden camera prank show by comedian David Trent (Edinburgh Newcomer Nominee 2012) and starring Nick Helm (Breakthrough Act, British Comedy Awards), John Kearns (Edinburgh Newcomer 2013 and Main Award 2014 Winner) and Evelyn Mok (One To Watch Tändstickan 2012).
Trent acted as a deranged cross between Ashton Kutcher, Dom Joly and Jeremy Beadle, as he subjected the peaceful residents of Ruislip (a small village in West London) to a series of pranks and magic tricks. The problem was that David Trent seemed to have zero idea as to what exactly a prank or magic trick was.
Helm, Kearns and Mok wait at a bus stop and then don’t get on a bus, Trent bursts out, playing guitar and yelling: TOTALLY TRENTED!
Trent gathers a crowd to watch him pour sweetener into a glass of water and then proclaim it has disappeared.
The four episode series presented the increasingly bizarre and tragic attempts to be a prankster, in a show that seemed to be falling apart, the longer it went on for. At Turtle Canyon Comedy we pride ourselves on professionalism so we saw out the production day, filmed it as best we could and then set to work on the edit. Totally Trented is what we managed to create from that day. Unconfirmed reports have it that David Trent is convinced he’s created the best TV show ever made. Turtle Canyon Comedy suggests that you all humour him. Especially because he took out an option to make a second series, an option that Turtle Canyon Comedy will never not regret including in the initial agreement.
The second series aims to take the format to never before seen heights, by throwing more money at the problem and trying desperately to replace the now irrelevant (in comedy terms) David Trent. So Turtle Canyon Comedy lined up acts with more buzz and more fans to come in and finally get the show an audience it hasn’t deserved. In stepped Joel Dommett (Impractical Jokers) to host the show and Sam Simmons (Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee 2014), Evelyn Mok and the Toby Sisters, Sarah & Lizzie Daykin (Live At The Electric, Chickens, Cockroaches) to lead the pranks – sidelining Trent in his own show. With five episodes of the series scheduled for release over the next few months and a high-octane opening episode, Totally Trented 2 promises to finally blow the minds of comedy fans everywhere.
As someone addicted to comedy, each gig is another opportunity to find that laughter hit, that moment when you see talent and you think “this is why I love stand-up comedy. This is what it’s all about”.
That unique, raw and emerging comic voice that oozes confidence, creativity and commitment to an art that most often seems so simple. Alex Edelman is such a talent and his debut hour at the Edinburgh Fringe is a stunning display of how exciting it can be to watch an emerging writer and performer.
Alex has been performing comedy since he was 15-years-old, starting in the US and has now gigged all around the world. I asked Alex to write about some of his ‘local favourites’ in places he has performed.
An insight into the life of a comedian that you don’t often see on stage. I cannot recommend enough that you go and see him if he’s in a town near you.
For an exclusive feature written by Alex about his first gig and starting in stand-up comedy, click here:
For another exclusive feature written by Alex about his favourite locations around the world, click here:
Alex Edelman: Millenial at Soho Theatre
Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards ‘Best Newcomer’ Winner 2014
Tue 13 – Sat 31 Jan at 8.30pm (1hour)
£10 Tue 13 – Thu 15, £12.50 (£10) Mon – Thu, £15 (£12.50) Fri – Sat
CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
ZB: I caught the comedy bug my freshman year of college and never fully recovered. Now, it’s full-blown Comeditus, and the only relief is nonstop bits — good and bad.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
ZB: I used to do neuroscience research, so a lot of my jokes are about science and the brain, what a weird hunk of electric meat that is. Science can feel huge and inaccessible, so I love to find humor in relating science to daily life. I also try not to make mean jokes, except to myself. There’s enough wrong with me that I don’t need to go after anyone else yet.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
ZB: To be perfectly cliche: Jimmy Kimmel, George Carlin, Louis CK, John Mulaney, Hannibal Burress. To be less cliche, but more honest: Adam Wagner, Jon Millstein, Jamie Brew, Adam Weinrib, Will Ruehle, Sam Helman, Nik Gonzales, Luke Kelly-Clyne, Lauren Ireland.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
ZB: Let’s just say that my Bar-Mitzvah was Jewish Comedian-themed.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
ZB: Anytime a dumb idea pops up, I write it down in a notebook that I carry in my back left pocket. Whenever I fill one up, I funnel all these thoughts into various documents on my computer (SketchIdeas.docx, StandupIdeas.docx, TreatiesOfVersailles.docx, etc.). I flesh out the ideas that still make me laugh, and then perform the best one or two that might actually be funny. Only the best ones make it through alive, Hunger Games-style. It’s really a natural selection of ideas.
CB: What impact has studying neuroscience had on your comedy?
ZB: Life-wise, I was on the medical school track doing research and everything, so by having this background, there’s more pressure to not blow my degree on the pursuit of yuks — the saddest name for comedy. Content-wise, it’s a juicy reservoir to draw from for jokes. Brains are so weird, have you ever looked at one? I love em.
CB: As a Segment Director for Jimmy Kimmel Live, do you find this work influences your comedy at all?
ZB: Oh yeah, being surrounded by the funniest humans all the time is nuts, I feel very fortunate just to be in the building and learn from them.
CB: You also write and perform sketches with Garlic Jackson – do you find that your process for writing sketch comedy differs to stand-up?
ZB: Mostly in terms of collaboration. Sketch is very group-focused, from concept to stage and it evolves largely based on: what does the group find funny? Whereas stand up is more just you, naked, alone, and characterless: what do you find funny?
CB: As well stand-up and sketch comedy, you’re also a filmmaker and your work has been part of the official selection for many international film festivals. Do you find there is a difference writing and directing comedy for short films as opposed to your work in other comedic mediums?
ZB: With sketch, stand up, satire, etc., everything is in pursuit of the next joke. It’s rapid-fire. Bang bang bang. I love it, but it relies on more stock characters to get there. Film audiences don’t have the same jokes-per-minute expectations, so you can sit with characters longer and flesh them out. And then when you do land on a joke, it’s such sweet sweet release.
CB: Do you have a favourite venue to perform in?
ZB: There are two: 1) The PIT in NYC is where Garlic Jackson began its live show. They just gave us an hour every month and let us do our thing, so we were able to experiment and get a lot weirder and do these random visual jokes that are very hard to describe in a script or without an audience to interact with. I miss it dearly. 2) Lower Solomon auditorium at Brown University, the first place I ever did stand up and then continued to every month until I graduated. It’s really where I became a person, and the audiences there were so onboard and loving. I would marry that room if I could.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
ZB: Enjoyable — You meet the coolest, smartest, most compassionate, talented people in the world. Frustrating — You meet the lamest, dumbest, most self-absorbed, talentless people in the world.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
ZB: College crowds. They’re usually right with you and DTL (down to laugh).
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
ZB: Not really. Mostly from my inner monologue as I try to fall asleep.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
ZB: Always hate the last thing you did. The next thing will be better for it.
After six sell out Edinburgh Festival runs to huge critical acclaim, the UK’s premiere improv comedy troupe, The Noise Next Door (Tom Houghton, Charlie Granville, Matt Grant, Tom Livingstone and Sam Pacelli) will be touring the UK. They have been performing since 2006 and have appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Sketchorama’, performed alongside Harry Hill, Al Murray and Jason Manford, and were the first international group to perform at FRACAS, the improv festival in California. Having received standing ovations in front of corporate diners, the British forces, secondary school students and even fans at ‘Download’ the heavy metal music festival, they are definitely one of the most versatile acts in the business.
Hugely talented, very quick, incredibly creative and, not least, very funny, The Noise Next Door are one of the most exciting emerging acts in comedy. Buy tickets if they’re in a town near you!
Tour dates are as follows:
Thursday 8th BRISTOL, The Lantern
Wednesday 21st COLDFIELD, Comedy Junction
Friday 23rd CAMBRIDGE, Junction
Sunday 1st WORTHING, Drama Hall
Thursday 5th BROMSGROVE, Artrix
Saturday 28th EASTBOURNE, St Lukes
Wednesday 24th NOTTINGHAM Comedy Festival
Wednesday 1st MAIDSTONE – Hazlitt Theatre
Friday 3rd ENFIELD -Dugdale Centre
Saturday 4th STAFFORD – Gatehouse
Thursday 9th BRIGHTON- Komedia,
Friday 10th EPSOM Playhouse
Sunday 12th HARROGATE Harrogate Theatre
Thursday 16th WARWICK – Warwick Arts,
Saturday18th CARNAFON – Galerl
Thursday 23rd HARLOW Playhouse
Friday 24th DARTMOUTH The Flavel
Friday 31st Oct MILLOM Beggars Theatre
Thursday 6th ALDERSHOT West End Centre
Friday 7th CARDIFF Millennium Centre
Friday 14th BATH Komedia
Saturday 15th WOLVERHAMPTON Civic Hall
Tuesday 18th DERBY Darwin
Thursday 20th CHELTENHAM Pillar Room
Friday 21st SOUTHEND Palace Theatre
Saturday 22nd COLCHESTER Arts centre
Sunday 23rd CANTERBURY Gulbenkian
Thursday 27th BRISTOL Hen and Chicken
Friday 28th NEW MILTON Forest Arts
Saturday 29th FARNHAM The Maltings
Wednesday 3rd FAREHAM Ashcroft Arts centre,
Monday 8th MANCHESTER Comedy Store
Friday 19th EXMOUTH Pavillion, Exmouth
Saturday 20th TIVERTON – TCAT
Sunday 21st IVYBRIDGE Stowford Hal
‘It’s very rare to see improv comedy so consistently hit the mark THE LIST
‘Pure Genius’ FRINGE REVIEW
‘The sheer volume of laughter this show produced was astonishing’ EDINBURGH EVENING STANDARD
‘A multi-talented behemoth of improve comedy…. Brilliant’ FRINGE GURU
‘Masterpiece’ THREE WEEKS
‘Astonishing’ EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS
SEE THE NOISE NEXT DOOR IN ACTION:
Andrew Ryan is an Irish comedian, who started gigging in 2008 and is now one of the most exciting emerging talents in comedy and in demand as both an act and an MC at the biggest comedy clubs around the UK and Ireland.
Andrew’s quintessentially Irish storytelling abilities and cheeky, friendly demeanour make him a natural observational stand up. He has supported both Justin Moorhouse and Terry Alderton on their UK tours and performed his debut hour show ‘Ryanopoly’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012, receiving rave reviews (‘Illuminating debut ★★★★’ – The Metro). Andrew performed his latest show ‘Life of Ryan’ at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2014.
Andrew has performed stand-up on BBC3’s Russell Howard’s Good News and BBC3’s Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live and has appeared as a guest on Sky Sunrise and as a regular panelist on BBC Radio.
Sara Shulman is the Founder and Editor of Comedy Blogedy, TEDxUCL Speaker on ‘The Power of Funny’, specialist comedy blogger for Ticketmaster and blogger for The Huffington Post. Sara was the former Head of Comedy at UCLU Rare FM and produces the Comedy Blogedy podcast ‘Humour Me’. Sara is currently a student at the National Film & Television School and has produced online comedy sketches and short films.
Photo Credit: Andy Hollingworth
CB: Where was your first gig and what was it like?
TN: My first gig was at an open mic at a coffee house in Los Angeles that is no longer around. And it surprisingly went well. My next gig though did not go as well – I felt so confident from the first time, that I actually signed up for a comedy competition the following night. I bombed so bad that I ended up running off stage before my time was up.
CB: How often did you start gigging after your first gig and what was the comedy environment like in terms of booking gigs and progressing on mixed bills?
TN: It took me years to build up an act, and then I toured as much as I could and drove around the country making little or no money being put on shows as an MC and opening act. It took about 3 years before starting to headline comedy clubs.
CB: How do you feel that your material has changed since when you first started gigging?
TN: When I first started doing stand-up, I did a ton of one liners and general basic jokes, then I started doing longer jokes and stories and then even allowing myself to be more honest or physical or even pushing a stool around the stage for laughs. It had very little to do with material. Anything I do though, there’s always very clearly my voice behind it.
CB: Do you have a specific process that you go about when you write your material? Does the way you write your stand-up material differ at all to the way you write sitcoms?
TN: I get an idea, or I think of a story that I want to work out and then I just get up on stage as much as possible and keep telling that story over and over and over again. And I record these sets. And then listen to them. And then keep working out this material, tweaking, finding different nuances and tags. So in terms of what I actually write on paper, it is usually never more than bullet points.
CB: Your comedy album Live has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and was ranked the number one comedy album by Entertainment Weekly. Did you find that you had a different approach in preparing material for this album?
TN: That set was completely different than any other. I had no intention of that performance turning into an album. I had just been experiencing absolute hell in my personal life, and did not know if I was even going to live, and I love being a stand-up, so I wanted to perform and discuss all I had been going through – it was just a very raw set.
CB: Your project Showtime found you performing in the homes of your fans around the U.S. How did you find that experience?
TN: I had done this before, just never had it taped for a special. It was always really fun in the past, and that got me to thinking that this could be great on television and fortunately Showtime agreed. So not surprisingly, shooting this project was again a lot of fun.
CB: Do you have a favourite type of audience to perform to?
TN: The sleeping elderly.
CB: You’ve also toured and performed comedy at some of the most prestigious festivals around the world. How do you find that these gigs compare to performing at a comedy club?
TN: They are way different. Some of these festivals have a huge music component, so sometimes I am performing and there is actually a literal barrier between myself and the audience, which can sometimes make it a little bit more challenging. But my experience on a whole at these festivals are always quite amazing and fun.
CB: Having performed in so many different types of venues all around the world, do you have a favourite type of venue to perform in?
TN: There is something about small intimate venues that I really love. It is also amazing to perform in thousand seat theatres. To not be able to see anybody, but to hit a first punch line, and then from the darkness feel a huge roar of laughter in response, is pretty exhilarating.
CB: Do you have any tips or advice for comedians and new acts starting out in comedy?
TN: Be yourself and get up on stage constantly.
You can win tickets to see the show – all you have to do is ‘Like’ the Comedy Blogedy Facebook page.
Eric Lampaert and Jack de Havas’ podcast ‘Coffee Ramblings’ featuring Kyle Simmons (Bastille) and Sara Shulman (Comedy Blogedy).
Eric Lampaert is a comedian and actor that has appeared on BBC2, BBC3, Ch4, Ch5, E4, ITV2, HBO including shows such as Life’s Too Short, Cardinal Burns and The Midnight Beast. Eric is also in Dizzee Rascal’s music video ‘Bassline Junkie’ and Scouting For Girls’ ‘Love How It Hurts’ respective music videos as well as Sky’s advert with Bruce Willis. Eric studied at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris & Middlesex University in London.
Eric also won the Latitude Comedy Competition (2010), the Laughing Horse Big Comedy Competition (2008), was a Raindance Short Film Nominee 2011 and named a T4 Rising Star of 2012.
In 2013, Eric performed at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, where his set recorded for TV went out on Comedy Central UK last month. 2014 sees him performing at Latitude Festival, an appearance on Alex Zane’s ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ for London Live a large role in the new The Lennox Brothers film ‘AM✮DAM’, out this Autumn and Eric is currently filming a new feature, ‘Moonwalkers’.
“★★★★ He makes it look so easy. This is a man with very funny bones” – DAILY EXPRESS
“★★★★ Likeable and enjoying, sweeping up the audience in the sheer energy of his performance. The strength of his scatty character rips through the room like a mini-hurricane” – CHORTLE
“★★★★ Delightfully Weird” – TIME OUT
“Uniquely talented stand up and expert improviser” – GQ
“Quirky, with an eye for the absurd and a couple of near-Izzardian flourishes… energy is such that it’s almost osmotic” – THE STAGE
Testiculating (Waving Your Arms Talking Bollocks)
Venue: Laughing Horse at The Counting House
Time: 7.45pm Dates: 1st – 23rd August inclusive
Comedian’s Cinema Club
Venue: Just the Tonic at the Tron
Time: 3.40pm Dates: 31 July – 23rd August (except 12th)
Joz Norris is a stand-up comedian, character comic, writer and actor based in London. He started working on the stand-up circuit in 2011 and has since become a critically lauded and well-respected figure on the alternative comedy, character and clowning circuits, as well as working prolifically in other media and collaborating frequently with some of the best alternative comics.
In 2011, he was one of the winners of the “Huge” competition to perform at the UK premiere of Ben Miller’s film Huge at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square. His first solo character show in 2012, Joz Norris Is Matt Fisher: Uberperson, was greeted with unanimous praise from critics, comics and audiences alike. 2013′s Joz Norris Has Gone Missing was his first full Fringe show and was similarly well-received, being chosen as one of Time Out’s Top Ten Free Shows and Laugh Out London’s Pick of the Free Fringe, as well as being Fringe Review’s Pick for its venue.
He is a frequent collaborator with other comics, being a part of the Chortle Award-nominated Weirdos Collective, with whom he had a part in their sellout performance of Hook in 2012, and he will also have a regular role in Weirdos’ new monthly project, Blueprint. He is also a frequent collaborator with several performers on the clowning circuit and had a regular guest role in the children’s clowning show Are You Serious? A Whimsical Stupid Circus at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe.
In other media, he is one half of the popular online What Not Comedy Podcast with Karl Schultz and is a prolific writer, performer and producer of online sketches, as well as taking roles in sketches by other comics including Bec Hill and Barry Ferns. He is currently working on the early stages of a new webseries currently titled What Not Dating. In May 2012 he was the host of the student-produced online panel show, Punchlines, by UCA Maidstone, and he was also featured as a guest of Tom Wrigglesworth for BBC Radio 4 Extra’s The Comedy Club Interviews in July 2012.
He has worked extensively in theatre, having set up the No Answer Theatre Company in 2007 as a showcase for local acting and writing talent, through which two of his own full-length plays were produced by Salisbury Playhouse. More recently he had a role in two immersive theatre projects by Christopher Green, Late at the Library: The Party Rules at the British Library and This Show Has No Name at the London Wonderground.
Joz Norris will be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe from 30th July – 24th August 2014 at the Underbelly at 16:20 (1 hour).
“Norris has created a genuinely brilliant character, performed with a confidence that belies his years and a pomp that defies the room. The audience loves every second.” – The Skinny
“Quality moments of silliness…Norris performs with indefatigable gusto and not a hint of pretension…the kind of cheeky grin that must have been a hit with the dinnerladies.” – London is Funny
“One of the most exciting comic character creations on the up-and-coming comedy scene…If there’s a space to watch, it’s this one!” – Comedy Blogedy
“Norris is uber-confident, but he has the material to back up his tenacity.” – Time Out
“Actually pretty good.” – Terry Pratchett
“Joz Norris may have gone missing, but his comic ability is still evidently present.” – Three Weeks
“For this young and talented comic, the future is obviously bright.” – The Comedy Journal
“Some of the most original and involving comedy I’ve seen for some time.” – Theatre Geek
Sara Shulman is the Founder and Editor of Comedy Blogedy, TEDxUCL Speaker on ‘The Power of Funny’, specialist comedy blogger for Ticketmaster and blogger for The Huffington Post. Sara was the former Head of Comedy at UCLU Rare FM and produces the Comedy Blogedy podcast ‘Humour Me’. Sara is currently a student at the National Film & Television School and occasionally gigs on the comedy circuit
Mark Davison is a comic actor and comedian, performing a character act called Mr Susie. He was voted “Best Free Act” by Stalking Elk magazine at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011 and his 2012 show (Mr Susie’s “Cheeky Flippin’ Nice”) and 2013 show (“Mr Susie’s To Earth With Love”) both received strong reviews.
He is also one third of the online sketch trio “The Exploding Heads” whose online football show “How Will They Line Up?” was commissioned by ESPN for the duration of the 2013 – 14 Premiership season.
Mark has lots of stage experience including Shakespeare (Romeo And Juliet, dir Rupert Goold, Greenwich Theatre & National Tour), classics (Tamburlaine, dir. Tim Supple, Cambridge Arts Theatre) and new writing (Disappearances by Terry Eagleton, dir Jonathan Church, Salisbury Playhouse)
Mark is also a musician and composer and has also performed in many online sketches and short films.
Sara Shulman is the Founder and Editor of Comedy Blogedy, TEDxUCL Speaker on ‘The Power of Funny’, former Head of Comedy at UCLU Rare FM and produces the Comedy Blogedy podcast ‘Humour Me’. Sara is currently a student at the National Film & Television School and occasionally gigs on the comedy circuit.
TEDx Talk on ‘The Power of Funny': www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WQsjcJVgAw
Image credit: Minyahil Kifle-Giorgis
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