Mould and Arrowsmith: Calculating comedy

Mould and Arrowsmith's Sketch show in Powerpoint promises to help the I.T illiterate. But what are the most common problems faced by computers and their owners at the Fringe? Mould & Arrowsmith do some trouble shooting.

Feature by Steve Mould | 08 Aug 2008

Problem #1:

“I was walking down the Royal Mile when a sudden downpour meant my laptop is now waterlogged.“

Mould & Arrowsmith suggest...
Next time this happens befriend a student from a theatre company doing avant garde Shakespeare on the Mile. They will more than likely be wearing an amusing hat which doubles as an umbrella.

Problem #2:

“My laptop is becoming quite heavy and I'm sick of carrying it round. But I still need to word process and access the internet. What should I do?”

Mould & Arrowsmith suggest...
Find a comedian. (Usually found sitting alone in coffee shops or on buses crying about how much money they've lost.) Promise them that you'll come to their show, providing they carry your laptop around for you for the rest of the Festival. They will be so pleased to increase their audience figures that they will do virtually anything.

Problem #3:

I’m not getting any sound in Firefox. Internet Explorer and Windows Media player work fine. I’ve checked the drivers, it’s not that. I keep getting a message saying The DNS proxy agent was unable to allocate 0 bytes of memory. Could that be something to do with it?

Mould says...
Um, have you tried swearing at it?

Arrowsmith says...
I've got a cassette player. You can borrow that if you like? It’s got the best of Brian Ferry & Roxy Music in it.

Comedians have been using technology ever since Max Miller introduced his "tel-a-joke" telegram service 1923. This year's Fringe is teeming with comedians using computers, projection and PowerPoint in their shows so what if you’re a computer looking to collaborate with a comedian? Mould & Arrowsmith offer their top Hints 'n' Tips.

Tip # 1:
Comedians have virtually no self esteem so try not to brag about how many floating point calculations you can do per second. Chances are they didn't do very well at school and probably cried in maths.

Tip # 2:
Stage fright happens to lots of performers but try not to freeze when you get out there in front of an audience. One comic's 20 min set took over two hours to complete after his computer froze in the middle of a joke about how men are different from women. He completed the joke after rebooting and received lukewarm reviews.

Tip # 3:
The old ones are the best ones. If the comedian's act is bombing, try livening it up with an old favourite such as “0010101101111001010101010…” Gets me every time that one.

If you are still having difficulties Mould & Arrowsmith will be fixing an audience member’s laptop live onstage every day of the Fringe.

Mould & Arrowsmith: A Sketch Show in PowerPoint, Pleasance Courtyard, 16:30, 1 Aug-24 Aug (not 11)