The Stand Late Show

If you’ve ever watched anything by John Robertson before you’ll know just how zany and energetic he can be, which is the perfect reason why he makes a great host for The Stand Late Show. The loud and proud Australian, with a series of non-stop off off-the-wall jokes and excellent showmanship, is fantastic at warming up the audience for the arrival of the main acts.

A night of hilarity and innovating comedy.

First up was Robin Ince who marked his twenty second fringe festival show. Ince uses the same accent for every impression, something I found distracting and a little lazy, but his anecdotal comedy was funnier than his take on contemporary society, something of a strong point in his repertoire. Though he was a little unpolished in places, he coined the best line of the entire night, ‘enigmatic nipples’, which was a fan favourite (and a personal favourite myself).

Self-proclaimed ‘homicidal pacifist’ Sameena Zehra was up next. Quick, witty and by far the most open about her sexual preferences, Zehra was confident in her routine. Stating the obvious, her humour is more orientated towards women, something which limited the response from half the audience and something I found made her standup dry at points. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of feminist comedy. However, Zehra was both funny and charming on stage and had me laughing a great deal of the time, though she was the shortest act of the night.

Following her up was New Jersey/Ireland hybrid Des Bishop. This down to earth, quick-witted guy derives humour from international relations and differences due to where he has lived (USA, Ireland and China), with accents that are far more accurate than Ince’s. Deservedly Bishop got the biggest round of applause of the evening and was by far the most entertaining act for me.

The headliner act was Scott Capurro, who seemed to be trying to be as offensive as possible and clearly misunderstood the concept of ‘free speech’ in PC Britain. On top of that, his jokes weren’t all that up to scratch, a theory confirmed by his comment that ‘It’s all about image’. Yes, in your case Scott it is just about image, which is why the comedy was kind of stale. His unintended humour and banter with audience members was funnier than the rest of his material, though this also inevitably became annoying as it took him forever to tell a joke due to being distracted by the youthful twenty four year old in the front row who he kept hitting on. Whilst amusing at times, Capurro would have been better as a middle act between Ince and Zehra.

All acts were well prepared, though some were more charismatic than others. Bishop and Robertson stand out the most, with Zehra and Ince sharing the second place podium. Capurro on the other hand feels more like a tv gossip than a professional comedian. But being a rotational event, you can never really be sure who or what to expect. Though there were some hiccups, there were more laughs to be had, and was for the most part a night of hilarity and innovating comedy.

Reviews by Stuart Mckenzie

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The Blurb

'This is late night comedy at its finest' **** ( Late night comedy at its best. Eight superb showcases from Scotland’s favourite club. Five comics, two hours, late bar. Different selection nightly. ‘Best value in town’ (Edinburgh Evening News). ‘They keep the laughs coming’ (Times). ‘Whether it’s political satire or knob gags you’re after, it’s a crowd-pleasing venue which never fails to impress’ (ThreeWeeks). Previous guests include The Boy With Tape On His Face, Brendon Burns, Reginald D Hunter, Tom Stade, David O’Doherty, Sarah Millican, Phill Jupitus, Richard Herring, Stephen K Amos, Craig Campbell, Al Murray.