Scottish Comedian of the Year 2007 final

Originally published at The Skinny

Scotland has brought us some truly immortal comedy institutions: the Edinburgh Fringe, Ivor Cutler, Billy Connelly and those see-you-jimmy hats. A Scottish comedy awards ceremony would certainly be more enjoyable to attend than, say, a Cornish one. Rory McGrath can only spread his talent so far.

And enjoyable it was. Personal favourites were resident Australian Rowan Campbell and Glasgow’s uninominal Teddy. Rowan’s routine looked at how Australians are often seen dismissed as a nation of petty convicts (“Quick, hide the bread”) and featured a marvellously twisted explanation of how the incriminating indiscretion of his Scottish ancestor was actually a powerful political statement. I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure that one out.

Teddy’s routine about an emasculating sexual encounter, which decency forbids we go into here, felt far more honed and refined than many of the night’s acts. While other performers would frequently flutter between unrelated one-liners and a wide sample of random (but undeniably funny) gags, Teddy focused on one perfectly orated story and hung his jokes off it expertly. This is the skill of a talented, thoughtful humourist.

A theme of the night, quite rightly, was critic-baiting. The large audience would periodically boo the X Factor-style judging panel. YouTube’s famous ‘Wee Man’ berated Chortle’s Steve Bennett for a bad review. “Just another chav act!” he spat angrily, “No, Steve! It’s another fucking NED act!”

The winner of the ‘Big Banana Boots’ trophy was newcomer Sean Grant for some great material about his ugly son. Second and third prizes went to Greenock’s Jay Lafferty (the shortlist’s only comedienne) and Aberdeen’s Gus Tawse whose act includes a great skit about the death of his wife – “I can’t help but think I’m partly responsible. I beat her to death with a shovel”.

All in all, this was a great showcase of Scotland’s up-and-coming talent. Look out for them all at the Glasgow comedy festival in March.

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