This year at the Edinburgh Fringe has been different from any before, because as well as doing a show at night, we're doing a show in the morning. Performing Chunky Woollen Nits at 11am and Boo Lingerie at 10.40pm means I have to have an uncharacteristic routine of early nights and early mornings, added to which there's a hell of a lot of flyering to be done in the daytime. Not that my old haunt of The Loft Bar has much to recommend it. In the two nights I've managed to get over there (nights when there was no Chunky show the next morning kids) it's been pretty dead at its usual peak hours of 1am onwards, suggesting there's somewhere else the cool kids are hanging out, though word of mouth tells me it's not Brookes Bar either, which has also been quiet though I've not been.
So what am I doing if I'm not out schmoozing? Well, chilling after my show watching videos on YouTube. No, not making them, like I did in the early years with the Socks (in 2007 the Socks made a video diary every single day for the month, and made a good few in 08 too), just watching them. And this is how I've discovered Andy Samberg.
Yes, yes, I know the kids have known about Andy Samberg for years, well I didn't. But it's thanks to my technician, Audrey, who was playing the track I Just Had Sex on the PA before the soundcheck the other day, that I sought out The Lonely Island on Youtube and was blown away by their stuff. If you're not familiar with them, Andy Samberg and a couple of other guys are regulars on Saturday Night Live in the States (which is not shown in the UK, hence my ignorance) and they make faux-rapping comedy videos which have been massive hits online and have won Emmy Awards, but to date I doubt he could get arrested in the UK (a forthcoming TV series co-starring Greg Davies may change that).
Suffice it to say he is a massive name in comedy in the States, and deservedly so. My favourite of his videos is Shy Ronnie 2, with Boombox and Jack Sparrow close behind, but they are all brilliant. If you haven't watched a Lonely Island video, please do so now.
This second-hand discovery of Andy Samberg, years after everyone else has known about him, reminds me of a time way back in school when Steve Noble started the new school term having spent the summer in America with his cousins and tried to describe to us Saturday Night Live and Steve Martin. A few years later I heard the Steve Martin albums, through Steve, and kind of got him, and years later still saw the VHS video of Wild & Crazy Guy live and finally understood what Steve had been raving about all those years. I guess it took 6 years from Steve telling us all about Steve Martin (in 1976) to me finally seeing him (1982), which is an ignorance time-gap that it's hard to imagine existing in this modern communications age. But in a small way I'm still glad it does.