Karen Koren: A Rich reward at Usher Hall gala fest

Rich Hall. Pic: Staff
Rich Hall. Pic: Staff
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I’M looking forward to the Gilded Comedy Gala at the Usher Hall on 7 March. I was very excited and happy to hear Rich Hall could become part of what is already a strong line-up.

Rich is and old friend, ever since he entered So You Think You’re Funny? in 1991... only to be disqualified for being too experienced. By that time he had already been on and written for the David Letterman show in New York and worked regularly on Saturday Night Live in the US.

He admitted he didn’t know the competition was for newcomers and was just looking for gigs at the Festival.

From Montana, Rich is a cowboy at heart. He did lots of his earlier shows with the Gilded Balloon, including creating Otis Lee Crenshaw, his country and western character, which became as successful as his stand-up.

Back in the 90s, Rich and I had an altercation about something that has completely slipped my mind, but I do remember he came over to the Gilded Balloon in the Cowgate with a present for me. It was a replica doll of the chef in the TV show South Park.

Not sure the significance of the gift other than to say sorry. I have, however, kept the doll as a momento of the early days at the Gilded Balloon, and of Rich, a very talented and funny comedian.

So he is added to the already exciting line up, with Dylan Moran, who is one of the best stand-up comedians around and Phill Jupitus, who has been researching the 100 years of the Usher Hall as well as people’s memories of the venue - he will be revealing what he has discovered. Arthur Smith, a regular on BBC Radio 4 will be compering and giving insights into the history of the Usher Hall.

I can’t wait for it and I am looking forward to seeing lots of comedy fans there on the night.