The shortlist for the annual Malcolm Hardee Awards has been announced. The Awards, which celebrate comic originality and stunts, are being presented until the year 2017 in memory of the late "godfather of British alternative comedy" (pictured). Here are the shortlists, with accompanying notes from the organisers...
The Malcolm Hardee Award For Comic Originality
DR BROWN: an act where 'surreal' does not quite do justice to what is or is not happening on stage - "Uncomfortable weirdness" was one attempt to categorise it.
LEWIS SCHAFFER: for turning round his act Into a highly improvised and totally unpredictable event... and for being able to literally take his show Free Until Famous onto the streets.
BOB SLAYER: for his continued services to anarchy in comedy, including his gobsmackingly anarchic Punk Rock Chat Show (which usually has nothing to do with punk, rock or chat)
ROBERT WHITE: for his enthusiastic unconventionality and for being (in his own words) "the only gay, Aspergers, quarter Welsh, webbed-toed dyslexic pianist debuting this Fringe"
The Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award (for best publicity stunt)
STEWART LEE: who, while complaining about the former Perrier Award, almost accidentally promoted Japanese act Frank Chickens who were not performing at this year's Fringe. As a result, they actually did come up to Edinburgh to perform at the Fringe for the first time in 25 years - at a show promoting Stewart Lee's new book. The fact that Stewart did not intend to unleash publicity does not negate his success.
MANOS THE GREEK: for claiming he will donate 10% of the total earnings from his Free Fringe show to rescue the Greek economy and by pushing his luck in a Hardee-esque way by, one hour before the shortlist, having a photocall wearing a langolia (Greek kilt) atop Calton Hill in front of the Doric columns of the National Monument.
ARTHUR SMITH: for declaring that he would pay £100 to any journalist attending his show who would juggle fish. When his bluff was called by critic Bruce Dessau, Arthur neglected to buy the required kippers, but he still got publicity out of a silly idea: a pre-requisite for getting a Cunning Stunt nomination.
The Malcolm Hardee 'Act Most Likely To Make A Million Quid' Award
BO BURNHAM: certainly one of the hottest young comedians on the Fringe for several years. Might already have made a million in the US, which might or might not disqualify him.
The winners will be announced around midnight on Friday 27th August 2010 during the nightly Shaggers show at the Three Sisters in Cowgate, Edinburgh as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival.