This year there have been plenty of shows running in the daylight hours and I thought it was about time I caught one of them. Phil Ellis’ Big Comedy Quiz has had a few outings at the Frog and Bucket and again was an event I’d been meaning to catch. So off we went to the Frog – in daylight! In the afternoon! It was a nice little turn out for a Saturday afternoon. Ellis hosts the quiz – which has as much to do with serious trivia as Shooting Stars does – besuited and atop a stepladder. He’s un-ablely assisted by the very sparkly presence of Susan Vale and the very quiet George Cottier. It’s a beguiling experience with questions as off the wall as Why is… Mel Gibson? A very good point well made. It continues on the last Tuesday of every month and is well worth dropping into.
It feels like I’ve been neglecting the Lass O’Gowrie and its festival delights in the last two weeks - it’s put on no less than 30 festival shows and is an integral part of the event. So I rounded the day off there to help judge the final of the Old Speckled Hen Comedian of the Year competition. Unlike my experience of judging competitions in the past pub manager Lisa Davies and resident comedian TheOneLikeFish had created an X Factor style atmosphere with the judges giving verbal feedback rather than just scribbling away and making their decisions in the dark. It’s nerve racking but as I’ve always (at least tried…) to take the view that you don’t put anything in print that you’d not be prepared to say to someone’s face it seems only right that you can say it over the mic. Myself and fellow judges comedian turned promoter Neil ‘Spider’ Smith and the fantastic comic Greg Cook were all pretty fair and polite to the competitors, though that wasn’t difficult as they all were genuinely pretty decent acts. But a choice had to be made and Lewis Jones came in third, Sarah Cassidy second and Scott Bennett first.
A few drinks (it’s the last Saturday and an extra hour in bed to recover) then home and bed ready for the final onslaught.


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