Scotland on Sunday, Kate Copstick’s Festival Diary 28/08/2011
We went to Edinburgh Fringe 2011 as a minor internet hit pop act and came back as an award winning comedy act. Don’t worry, it wasn’t an award for being funny or any good. It was an award for encouraging people to stick crudely drawn cock stickers on other comedians’ posters.
The Cockgate saga started with our poster being banned from Free Fringe venues:
That spunky cock and bollocks is nothing you wouldn’t see in half the secondary school textbooks in the country. Someone kneeling down before The Queen to receive a knighthood and instead getting a crudely drawn schlong sticking out the Queen’s gown into their mouth, or in your Tricolore French textbook etched onto the end of Gerard Depardieu’s nose.
The venues that the posters had been removed from were all pubs/bars. As far as I’m concerned everyone in a pub either has a spunky cock or has had one up them (apart from the lesbians and they don’t normally like us anyway).
Because in previous years we got fed up with giving out flyers we had the idea to get
5000 stickers printed instead:
We gave these out to the audience for the first 4 nights of our run. Rather than everyone taking one, people were grabbing big handfuls and they stuck them fucking everywhere!
Then the shit hit the fan. I got a phonecall from the Fringe Organisers saying they had received numerous complaints and that unless we stopped giving the stickers out one of the big promoters Underbelly was threatening legal action against us. Mates told me they had overheard various mid-level comedians bitching and moaning about us in the comedians’ bars and rumours were circulating that comedy management conglomerate Avalon were going to sue us for 50 grand.
That night we got a visit from two blokes from Edinburgh City Council Environmental Department, all done up in in hi vis and stab vests. They turned up at the venue 5 minutes before we were due on stage clasping some A4 photocopied sheets with lots of pictures of posters with cocks stuck on them. They asked us to stop handing out the stickers, then proceeded to tell us how they had spent the day pulling off over a hundred cocks. Good work if you can get it.
Full of remorse for all the trouble we’d caused we issued the following apology, which we printed on posters and put up round all the Free Fringe venues:
Despite the heartfelt apology we were still hearing that there were several comedians who had the arse with our cocks. Fair play to Russell Kane, who was among the first to come out and say he didn’t have a problem and thought it was just a bit of a laugh. One person who failed to see the funny side was Daniel Sloss’s agent, Marlene Zwickler who sent us through an invoice for 900 quid for damage to his posters, with a menacing letter threatening that unless it was paid “immediately and discreetly” she would rally a load of other disgruntled comedy agents. I ignored it and didn’t hear anything else.
The one of Russell Kane with his mouth open. To be fair it did look like it’d had a cock photoshopped out of it.
Ghost cock on Pete Firman’s poster with
impressive comet tail.
Ghost cock on Daniel Sloss which someone
brought back to life with a marker pen.
And then at the end of the Fringe we got given an award.
Some other comedians kindly came out in support of the cocks.