Malcolm Hardee Awards get riotous finale

The spirit of Malcolm Hardee lives on with a night of anarchic fondness in memory of the legendary showman

Feature by Polly Glynn | 28 Aug 2017
  • Terry Alderton

A man screams “No” as he’s hit in the face with a mop. The room is demanded to wave. Get on board – this is the last ever Malcolm Hardee awards. Established in 2005, after Hardee’s untimely death, these awards celebrate the maddest, most alternative acts found at the Fringe.

The first award of the evening was for the act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid. Despite Irish comic Al Porter having been nominated for the past three years, the award went to Rob Kemp, creator of the cult hit The Elvis Dead.

Mark Dean Quinn was announced as the next winner for his star-stealing ways. He scooped the Cunning Stunt prize for his rooting through bins, taking whatever review flashes he could find and attaching them to his own flyers. Up against Quinn were Martha McBrier and her controversial appropriation of Digeridoos, and also Damian Kingsley for his ingenuity of flyerering while dressed as a security guard.

In between awards, the audience was treated to a variety of bizarre acts, including furious magician Herbie Treehead, Hitler-esque lounge singer Frank Sinazi, and Awards judge Kate Copstick singing some of Rolf Harris’ Greatest Hits complete with bleeper. A special mention should also go to Luca Cupani, winner of So You Think You’re Funny? 2015 and now champion of the arguably more coveted Sixth Edinburgh Russian Egg Roulette Champion.

Anecdotes about Hardee were in abundance too: Simon Munnery’s tale about the Hardee Leap and falling flat on his face was a highlight. The winner of the Comic Originality award, Terry Alderton, also made a touching tribute to his friend and mentor.

John Fleming, producer of the Hardee Awards and close friend to the man himself, was commended for maintaining the awards. For his dedication, he won a large multipack of Twix and sixteen Red Bulls. 2017’s ceremony was meant to be the last of its kind as Fleming only had enough prizes made to last to this year. Something tells us more trophies will have to be made.

The Last Ever Increasingly Prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards was held at Laughing Horse at The Counting House on 25 August