John-Paul Stephenson

Review: The Comedians’ Comedian with Stuart Goldsmith – Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh

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Brendan Burns attacks “pseudo left-wing” bigots and backslapping, and Ed Byrne talks about fact and fiction in his routines.

Described as Inside the Actors Studio for comics, The Comedians’ Comedian with Stuart Goldsmith gives comics a chance to talk about their craft.

Goldsmith has been recording editions of the podcast in front of a live audience at the Gilded Balloon during this year’s Fringe.

As it seems rather redundant to “review” a show that is different each day, what follows is a brief overview of the edition with Ed Byrne, who was the guest for the recording I attended, and the interview with Brendan Burns, which now available to download.

Byrne discussed the pragmatics of audiences on tours and how he longer dismisses a joke if it were not entirely based on fact.

In a year in which there appears to be a particular backlash against critics, Byrne acknowledges that he would alter a routine if there were a consensus amongst reviewers.

The Comedian’s Comedian is recorded throughout the Festival featuring names such as Sarah Millican and Al Murray, with Jason Manford, Sean Hughes and David O’Doherty still to come.

In the first edition to the released online, Brendan Burns explored prejudice, bigotry and condescending critics, naming The Guardian‘s Brian Logan as someone who, Burns claimed, does not even like comedy.

In the interview, one of the first to be recorded during the festival, Burns attacked bigotry and “pseudo left-wing pretension, which is a wafer-thin veil over a very covert prejudice.”

“It’s borne of elitism, classism, it’s borne of accent; that’s why when people go to university they change the way they speak if they want to be taken seriously. I fucking hate it.”

Burns also criticised Stewart Lee’s audience – while being complimentary about Lee himself – “I hate his audience; the whole idea of back-slapping for comprehending jokes.”

Goldsmith himself is a strong interviewer, challenging Burns on several points when others might be intimidated.

The Comedians’ Comedian now has an impressive back-catalogue of conversations with comedians about their craft and industry.

It is a fantastic resource for comedians, industry professionals and comedy geeks. Furthermore, the live recordings are a great opportunity to listen to some big names discuss their work in an intimate setting.

More editions of The Comedians’ Comedian with Stuart Goldsmith will be recorded at the Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh until 26 August 2013, and will be released online over several weeks. The Brendan Burns edition is currently available to download on iTunes.