Bob Slayer on the BlundaBus: Comedy Spotlight

The latest Fringe venue is a double-decker bus. We asked the BlundaBus' registered keeper Bob Slayer to explain himself

Feature by Fred Fletch and Ben Venables | 28 Jul 2015
  • Bob's BlundaBus

THE SKINNY: You saw a bus. You purchased a bus. You called it the BlundaBus. You're now bringing it to Edinburgh as a Fringe venue. What does reaction and stopping time mean to you?

BOB SLAYER: There's no time to stop... double ding... drive on... I react to every stimulus and just keep going. Forward is the only way to drive, this applies to anything – comedy, a bus, your life. Full steam ahead, and if anyone gets in the way, run them over. Oh, and before you ask, yes I can! I've found a license loophole that means I can literally drive a ten ton bus through the heart of the Fringe. Hey Johnny Vegas I love you, get on board and drive my bus... Everyone. Come and take the wheel of The BlundaBus! We are driving to the future (at normal speed)...

It's said you were once a jockey. You now own a bus. What do you say to those wags who whisper that your life has become a parody of the evolution of transport?

Indeed it is said I was a jockey, do you believe? But now I am a bus jockey. Just wait and see. I am the origin of species. The survival of the fattest! Scream for me, baby. Darwin would be proud...

The Heroes pay-what-you-want model allows people to reserve a seat for £5. With a comedy show only an hour, and an all-day bus pass in Edinburgh costing just £4 (and that includes tram travel, Bob), is Phil Kay worried you've priced him out the market?

No. 'Cos he is a genius!

There's a comedian bombing on the BlundaBus and the vehicle will blow-up if you go below the 30mph Edinburgh city centre speed limit. I'm the wild-card cop who plays by his own rules. You're the sassy Sandra Bullock who can drive the bus into both adventure AND my heart. WHAT'S OUR GOD DAMN PLAN?

WHY CAN'T YOU just ask me what my GOD DAMN favourite colour is? Today it's red and that is the colour of the wire I'm going to cut... It will either blow us sky high or we will roll on regardless. Either way, it's going to be a blast...

Have you ever seen the 1983 movie Krull and can you put me in touch with Ken Marshall?

The BlundaBus is just like the Black Fortress complete with self-destruct button...

The time is 10pm. You have been driving with non-stop comedy shows since 6pm. Under EC rules, what is the longest you may now drive without a comedy show break?
a) 15 minutes
b) 30 minutes
c) 40 minutes
d) 45 minutes

We are unfettered by EC hoo-ha. Our bananas can be as bent as we like and we drive the comedy 24/7. There are no maximum or minimums on the BlundaBus... We also won't need an MOT or a note from our actual mums... Stompy the Half-Naked Chef is at 7pm, we have Phil Kay before and after. And then at the end of every day I will be engaging the turbo for the 00:30 Never Mind The BusStops aftershow.... This is the ultimate late night show that probably isn't for you, a freerange storytelling show where anything can happen if you let it... All aboard the night bus. No standing on the top deck #DoubleDing.

Back in the 1970s buses were all the rage in comedy, with sitcoms such as On the Buses and that episode of The Good Life where a chicken catches a bus to Kingston. Then Mrs Thatcher came to power and forced comedians to become self-employed entrepreneurs with strict guidelines about car-only motorway service station gags. How hopeful are you that the BlundaBus can restore stand-up to its golden 1970s period and smash the pernicious right wing dominance in comedy once and for all?

Chickens are welcome on the BlundaBus but we may clip their right wing to even them up a bit. Our aim is to stop all chickens, comedy and even our little collection of countries flying in ever decreasing circles, anti-clockwise. We also need more livestock at the Fringe. We at the BlundaBus have decided that £1500 for PR is an inefficient use of resources. Instead we have bought a dozen piglets for £20 each. We've saved them from the sausage man and we will be releasing them back into the wild – sending them down the Cowgate at regulated intervals and watching the column inches rack up...

You have a digital tachograph driver smart card. It is valid for a maximum of:
a) One year
b) Three years
c) Five years
d) Ten years

Does it get you cheap in-flight booze? We don't do tacos but The BlundaBus does do cheap in-flight booze in the best-stocked bar at the fringe. No Australian water or cooking cider on the BlundaBus. Local booze at good prices.

The bus tickets at the moment offer 25% off the Ancient Egyptian exhibition at the museum. It's like they're daring us to fight mummies on a bus. Can comedy really triumph over this tempting opportunity to die at the hands of a necromantic bandage monster?

The mummies don't stand a chance!

Holy cow! You are driving into Underbelly and your vehicle catches fire. What should you try to do FIRST?

a) Drive out of the Underbelly using the back exit as you would if the venue were a tunnel
b) Pull over to the side of the tent
c) Stop and extinguish the fire
d) Stop and leave the vehicle immediately

Underbelly is rammed full of lager, the taste and strength of toilet water. It's virtually undrinkable but it just so happens that it's perfect for extinguishing bus fires. So c) – spray the bus in substandard Aussie Lager. And then drive on through to the other side...

The first Edinburgh main prize winner Hugh Laurie once awoke from bus crash-induced amnesia in a strip club. In an epic two-part series finale, Laurie's Dr House had a race against time to recover his memory and work out what was killing the young doctor that his oncologist best friend had fallen in love with. But if the bus crash couldn't kill young Amber directly, the 'flu pills binding with her proteins would. Are there any shows on the BlundaBus so heart-staggeringly sad they might win the main comedy prize, and would you be prepared to overturn the bus to give them a chance?

Yes!

At the side of Pleasance there is a vehicle height restriction and bollards. How long have the Big Four been peddling their anti-bus propaganda?

You might be surprised at some of the prejudices of them big four venues. Many years ago, when I could still fit into skinny jeans and was the hot new thing at the Fringe, they were all courting me to be the next Daniel Sloss before he had even happened. I told them I was not sure we even needed the first one but they insisted. I pitched them the show I am finally doing this year, Bob Slayer: Fat Jockey, about my racing past. They all said they would prefer a show about cats and relationships. So I called them horse racists and set up my own venue.

Paul Simon cited 'get on the bus' as one of the 50 ways to leave your lover. Despite the possibility of this just being a polite way for him to tell Art Garfunkel to fuck off, do you think by the end of the Fringe, Gus will be confused to find himself in a comedy gig or are you advocating a Fringe show as the perfect place to stage a break-up?

The BlundaBus is a procreating love machine and Gus is more than welcome to join the ride.

You are driving the BlundaBus and reach Edinburgh's city gates. An EdFringe society officer asks to see your documentation. What must you produce immediately?
a) The Edinburgh Fringe Programme with all the incorrect listings highlighted in red
b) The driver's hours record
c) Operator documentation
d) Your driving licence
e) The undocumented Cowgatehead asylum seeker you have hidden in the wheel arch

These have been some of the most interesting, intelligent well-researched questions I have ever been asked; however it's very naive to expect me to have any idea about required documentation. We at The BlundaBus are an unregulated society!

Bob's BlundaBus: The Double Decka bar & venue, South College St throughout the Fringe. Plus Never Mind the BusStops a late night Aftershow from midnight until 3am. The BlundaBus will also be around town on Wednesdays. @BobSlayer http://www.blundabus.com