The 12th instalment of this competition hinted that the barrel of Scottish comedy may have run close to dry, featuring several former finalists and two previous winners. Contrary to previous years though, there was not a duff performer on the night and the likes of oddball Donald Alexander and the caustic Marc Jennings put in credible showings without quite making the podium places. Former winners Rosco McLelland and Jamie Dalgleish couldn’t reproduce the form of their previous triumphs but were further respectively hamstrung by taking the difficult opening spot and being sabotaged by a faulty microphone.
Rotunda Comedy Club, Glasgow ***
Rather unlucky to only take third place was Stuart McPherson, a new regular on sitcom Scot Squad, whose elegantly crafted account of toiling in minimum wage employment at a baked potato kiosk in Glasgow’s Central Station was full of ludicrous detail and ratcheted up hilariously when he introduced the spectre of a potential terrorist attack.
Taking second spot was Stephen Buchanan, who craftily wove his small man insecurities through consumer irritation at supermarket off-the-shelf fajita-making kits. He perhaps didn’t make enough of the culture clash of welcoming a refugee into his family home, but his material was otherwise tight and assuredly delivered.
Clear winner with both the crowd and judges though was Leo Kearse, artfully and semi-ironically hailing Margaret Thatcher in a city that loathes the ex-prime minister, and using his status as the oldest act in the line-up for a well-delivered account of his 40-something body betraying him during sex.