Mark Watson’s 24 Hour Show Edinburgh 09

August 29, 2009 at 4:21 am | Posted in Comedy | Leave a comment

If you haven’t heard about it, a crazy comedian, Mark Watson, occassionally hosts a 24 hour show. He has done them in Edinburgh and in Melbourne. I had heard about them for a while, but was never in the position to go. So when I heard he was hosting one this year, and that it would be the last one ever, well I had to go didn’t I?

I didn’t know what to really expect. There’s a lot of activity during the night, but then I never hear about the aftermath or how it all went. There were perhaps 70 or so people, we were squeezed into a room, that had no air conditioning, not much by way of drink/food access and you had to walk half a block to get to the toilet. The energy and the atmosphere in the room was enough to keep you going for the entire 24 hours. We as an audience were sitting on our butts for most of the 24 hours but Mark was pretty much on his feet, having to be nice, entertaining and being a general host for the whole night.

My intention was to stay the full length of the gig. It started at 01:00 on Tuesday 18th of August 2009. Previously i endured a 9 hour bus ride overnight on the Megabus from London to Edinburgh. I slept for maybe 2 hours, then unpacked quickly, had a quick bite to eat, and headed onto to some other comedy shows I had already booked in. Straight after those, no time for more sleep, headed to the Pleasance Dome for the start of the 24 hour stint. I was thoroughly unprepared for this gig. I didn’t bring water, didn’t bring food, deodarant, cushion or blankets. All I had was a large bag of sweets, which I then ate over the course of the 24 hours.

The gig actually started 20 minutes late. This threw everyone off because we couldn’t really celebrate each hour passing at the o’clock we hadn’t really stayed for the full hour. So began a discussion on how to overcome this situation. Well about 15 different options were proposed by various members of the audience and comedians. Eventually it boiled down to two options:

1. Move the clock on the computer 20 minutes back, convincing ourselves that it was actually only 1 o’clock. Thus creating a new time zone within the gig called New Scottish Time (NST for short)

2. Keep going as per usual and just add a 40 min encore that would take us up to the o’clock mark

Two members of the audience were the main driving force between New Scottish Time, whereas Adam Hills threw his weight behind an Encore. A vote was taken and the audience agreed that New Scottish Time was the way forward. But why stop at just the gig? We had all deluded ourselves that New Scottish Time was a legitimate time zone and thus began the quest to convince the public that NST was here to stay. To put weight behind the story, it was ‘discovered’ that the UK was located 240 miles to the west of where it should be. All maps would need to be re-drawn and the NST should be employed. We put in entries in wikipedia. It kept getting taken down. A press release was written under the guise of the University of Edinburgh. News crews picked up on it, BBC, CNN were calling the university.

Rove McManus twittered about it in Oz. All the comedians began checking their phones trying to find out who they could convince to write or spread the word about NST. It was discovered that Simon Amstell had Stephen Fry’s mobile number in his phone. Well, this just opened up a world of possibilities. Such a huge twitter network! Stephen tweeted twice.

For the rest of the gig, any newcomers were specifically asked … so what time is it? Falling into the NST trap.

In addition, Sammy J arrived and as is tradition, dressed up in clothing from the audience. We managed to fit 50 items on him. He was despatched to Edinburgh Airport along with Heath McIver and Dave Quirk to try to convince the airport to switch to New Scottish time to avoid collisions in the sky.

We also played “What’s the New Scottish Time, Mr. Wolf?” Resulting in Mark prematurely trying to attack a sheep.

Some other events/tasks that took place that night:

* There was a triple jump off competition between David O’Doherty, Dan Walmsley, Dan Atkinson and John Bishop. DOD and John both did theirs in their pants (undies for us Aussies). DOD pulled it out of the bag and beat Dan Atkinson on the final jump.

* There was a dance off between Mark and DOD, DOD tried to do the snake and robot dance and ended up rutting a big cardboard cut out of Rhod Gilbert instead.

* Chris Cox dazzled us with his mind reading skills on multiple occassions.

* Chris Cox and Mark attempted to punch Brendon Burns.

* Adam Hills always wanted to take an entourage to his gig, so he fulfilled his dream that night. A group of girls were chosen to accompany him to his gig, they went into Starbucks and flanked him while he ordered, they brought him out on stage, and remained on stage for the entire gig.

* Simon Amstell participated in blind date

* DOD introduced at the start of the night the idea of singing a Christmas carol every hour finishing with “Do they know it’s Xmas Time”

* Tiernan Douieb became our onstage pet (decorating balloons)

* Adam Hills opening the Kirkcaldy comedy festival with Emma and Al Kennedy, visiting Gordon Brown’s local office and giving them a letter stating the claim for the introduction of New Scottish Time

* Mark wore his Producers clothes for a period

* Matt Crosby from Pappy’s fun club date to see Antichrist with a member of the audience

* All the aussies on stage for rendition of 6 white boomers

* Everyone’s attempt at getting Bono or the Proclaimers to come to the gig

* A Unicyclist trying to teach Mark how to cycle (tradition – he apparently can’t ride a bike)

* Oompa band doing Queen Bohemian Rhapsody

* Introduction of the revolutionary product called the Slanket (it’s a blanket with sleeves)

* Hugging competition to win a slanket

* An audience member got a tattoo that said Mark Watson Edinburgh 09

* we moved across 3 venues throughout the night

And finally the Comedian Guests: Simon Amstell, Tim Key, David O’Doherty, Dan Atkinson, Chris Cox, John Bishop, Lionel Blair, Stephen K Amos, Lloyd Langford, Idiots of Ants, Phil Nichol, Ali McGregor, Josie Long (over Skype), Sammy J and of course Adam Hills plus many more I am sure.

All in all it was certainly a gig I may never do again in my life. So it was nice to be part of something like that once.


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