For a generation raised on Live At The Apollo and The Michael McIntyre Roadshow, the LATE ‘N’ LIVE GUIDE TO COMEDY will be a revelation. Edinburgh Fringe audiences have, for over the past 25 years, gathered like Romans to the Coliseum to watch comedians fight against hecklers at the leading Gilded Balloon venue. These people are renowned as the comedy world’s most unpredictable audience; never sedated by a famous name - they expect laughs or they give better than they get.
To many it’s known as the comedians’ graveyard, with some performances there becoming the cautionary tales of comedy folklore, but that hasn’t deterred some of the best known names in comedy wanting to take on the LATE ‘N’ LIVE crowd – a group of people who know that they are in control.
Now for the first time, narrated by LATE’N’LIVE veteran performer Lynn Ferguson, together with face to face interviews with the comedians who also performed there - exclusive archive footage of LATE ‘N’ LIVE can be revealed to those who never made it to the post-midnight show. Or indeed weren’t sober enough to remember it.
Amongst those taking part in the programme are Bill Bailey, Russell Brand, Johnny Vegas, Jason Byrne, Zoe Lyons, Shappi Khorsandi, Fed MacAulay, Caroline Rhea, Ross Noble and Rich Hall.
The raw comedy where anything can happen epitomises LATE ‘N’ LIVE. These BBC programmes look at four specific angles of comedy. The first deals with Hecklers; the second Comedy Virgins, the third Antics and the final looks at Scottish-ness (see notes at end).
The woman behind both LATE ‘N’ LIVE and indeed the Gilded Balloon venue is the First Lady of Comedy, Karen Koren who says; “When we started LATE ‘N’ LIVE it was the first late night compilation show at the Edinburgh Fringe. It couldn’t have happened anywhere else and was part of what makes this festival brilliant. I’d literally collar comedians during the afternoon or after their gigs and tell them that they were booked. We never knew what the audiences would be like, and in some ways the wilder they were meant that the challenge was greater. There was and is nothing bland about LATE ‘N’ LIVE; I’ve seen some of the best known names in comedy die on their backsides and others pack a punch that I didn’t know they have. I’m more than pleased that we can show people what real comedy is like”.