Fringe Dog: Comedy Spotlight

With hundreds of comedy shows already on sale, our Edinburgh Fringe 2015 coverage begins in conversation with celebrated critic and happy Norfolk Terrier Fringe Dog

Feature by Skinny Comedy | 28 Apr 2015

At last year's Edinburgh Fringe a new critic bounded into town. Quickly earning the respect of comedians and his journalist peers, FringeDog did much to restore faith in arts journalism with insightful reviews, star-rating stability and endless enthusiasm for the comedy scene. 

The Skinny: In Dr Oliver Sacks' classic book The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, he describes the medical case of Stephen D., a 'patient' who develops a heightened sense of smell after a period of drug misuse. Unfortunately, Mr. D. omits to review any comedy shows while in this temporary state. Does comedy have a smell and what is the most obscure aroma you've sniffed out at a Fringe gig?

Fringe Dog: o boy ,comdy has lots of smells !! mostly yeast in edimbrugh. at first it is dificult to smell past thick fug of sweat ,people runnin between hot rooms in rainy august ,as well as all the 5star comedians worryin that they are all mis guided delusional peoples who should give up and go home . but they are wrong !! they are all 5star briliants !! i hope i can reasure everyone of that ,and then the fringe will maybe all smell wonderful all the time !

There are a lot of cats and squirrels in Edinburgh; how do you manage to stay on top of your review schedule?

i have spent many summers practisin fine art of meditation and self control ,starin at biscuit for a long time and not eatin it. this has prove very helpful for focusing on reviewin briliant shows ,even when i am very tired from doing my own promnade theatre performances . ocasionally there are cats who try to distract me on twitter ,but i harbour no ill wishs to them , all the best for their edimbrughs !! 5stars.

After Turner and Hooch, Hollywood seems to have given up on producing movies about uptight detectives being partnered with outrageously messy dogs in order to solve crimes. Do you believe there's a perception that canines no longer care about criminal justice?

i have great respect for my coleagues in the police forces ,they are still doin excelent work sniffin out 5star criminals . media interest in dog careers has wax and waned over the years ,i hope we are just experiencing a down trend and people have not lost intrest . this is one of the reasons i feel i must carry on makin my small contribution !!

Describe your favourite Edinburgh Fringe walk and what makes it special?

o boy ,this is very hard question !! i am very keen on walkin along cowgate ,always there is very interestin new "sprit of the fringe" shows happening in places like free sisters ,underbelly ,and cowgatehead. i think just the tonic at the caves is my favourite venue at the fringe ,because if i get thirsty while i am reviewing ,i can just lick the walls and floor and have a drink !! 5stars to them .

It's said that Toto the terrier in The Wizard of Oz was paid more than the other actors. Was it right for the male lead to earn more than Judy Garland?

i definitely do not condone inequality of any kind ,between genders or species or colours . toto was played by a cairn terrier called terry ,( which is not very imaginative name for terrier but that not his fault ), and although it was exellent performance ,that can only be called supporting role at best ,so should not have been paid more than briliant judy garland in her 5star breakthrough role .

If you could turn one Fringe venue room into an all purpose kennel for frequent nap use which one would you choose and why?

apart from the caves ,i always am glad to go to the gilded balloon ,the staff are extremely friendly . however i am scared of baloons because i dont understand them ,so i dont think i could rest easy livin in there . i think i choose the voodoo rooms ,because it is very comfortable venue with nice soft seats and exelent air conditionin ,which means i do not distract briliant comedians with my panting .

In 101 Dalmatians, Cruella de Vil kidnaps puppies for their fur. In a comedy industry rife with super-villains, have you ever feared for your own or younger reviewers' safety?

definitely cause for concern ,and i try to be vigilant ! i am 6 years old ,which mean i am probably one of the oldest reviewers for the edimbrugh fringe .

You're sharing a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with a snooty upper-middle-class Bitch. However, in the candlelit ambience the two of you start to fall in love. Is there any meal worth missing a comedy show for?

although it is not wrong ,i would not refer to lady dog using that term because it has conotation these days ,but you did not know that ,so do not worry ! i have always been maried to my craft and have only polite respect when sniffin the back sides of ladies ,but in this hypo thetic situation ,i am very partial to batered mars bar . i know that is mostly for tourists ,but i live in london most of year ,and nothing else makes me so strongly think , "o boy !! i am at the edimbrugh fringe !!" so it hold special place in my heart . which is irony because it probably will give you heart attack ! i apologise for joke .

You are the most popular character in an all-star dog soap opera. The producer has asked you to participate in a three-pronged storyline involving a murder, an affair and a wedding. Despite grave misgivings on your character's new direction you are loyal to the show and trust the producer, who allows you to chose which of your co-stars is assigned to each plot-line. Out of Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Beethoven who do you choose for each story: 'kill', 'coitus', 'marriage'?

i am great admirer of all of their works !! all exellent dogs . i would not wish any harm on any of those briliants . and since i am public figure like miley cyrus i prefer to keep personal life separate and focus purly on my work ! i think it was confucious who say , "always be good boy and maintain journalistic integrity " .

Groucho Marx said: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." What, if any, are the ideal circumstances and lighting conditions for reading a comedy review?

he was one of the most greatest 5star briliants ! though i am always a little concernd about how he discoverd this fact . leavin that aside ,i think we should not consider ideal circumstances and lightings for readin reviews . lots of briliant acts do 5star shows in strange rooms at dificult times and places , and some people canot see past this . we must judge on the merit of the shows them selves !! out of the same respect, and by same logic ,our reviews must be strong enough to stand alone in any readin environment . but do not read during another show !!

There are reports that one of the Big Four venues is being haunted by a glow in the dark Pirate Ghost. The Fringe gentry are outside telling the braver stand-ups and dogged reviewers 'not to go down there because glowing seaman ghosts will totally chase you.' In all honesty it seems a trifle suspicious. How would you investigate, and which comedians and critics would you bring together to have in your mystery gang?

o boy how exiting !! this sound like briliant promnade theatre ! like punch drunk's drownd man but better because it has pirate ghost ! to make sure i remain neutral and avoid appearance of favroutism ,i will avoid nominating comedians ,but once i seen on tv the band happy mondays on ghost huntin with yvette fielding . they were very good at it ,especialy bez who kept tellin a owl to f off !! it was a bit rude of him,but very entertain. 5stars to happy mondays !

thank you for interview ,it tremendous honour to talk to briliant people at the skinny !!

Fringe Dog will return to review Edinburgh Fringe in 2015. Follow @FringeDog on twitter